Using basic epidemiological practices and lessons learned completing a detailed computational study of the evolution of the influenza virus and its human host, post-graduate student Stephen Huff of the University of Houston developed a simple but robust web site for the distribution of safe, free software downloads - best of all, the service is free.
(PRWEB) June 5, 2010 -- We call them computer ‘viruses’ for a reason. Lacking a physiology (operating system) of their own, these short sequences of machine language or script are completely dependent upon their hosts for their functionality and replication, and they readily transfer from one infected organism (computer) to another via careless contact of some kind. Within the newly infected system they deliver their unpleasant payload, and then they replicate prolifically with the ultimate goal of attacking yet another unprotected system to continue the cycle of infection.
This is what genuine viruses like influenza do, as well, claims Stephen Huff, a computational microbiologist working to complete a doctorate at the University of Houston. “Comparing computer viruses to their biological counterparts, I find they are extremely similar. If you consider the need to reload or recover lost data or operating systems to be the ‘death’ of a computer, then the ‘morbidity’ and ‘mortality’ attributed to both infections is similar, too. In other words, both kinds of viruses cause a great deal of ‘sickness’ and ‘death’ every year.”
Like most computer users, Huff has encountered his share of malware and has come to loathe such applications passionately. A particularly vicious attack in 2008 resulted in the loss of several gigabytes of un-saved experimental data. “I was careless. I needed a free application to perform a one-time operation, and I Google
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