File Allocation Systems or FAT
FAT viruses infect the file allocation systems of the computer and gain access to the location of all the files. It can even be programmed to selectively destroy certain files once it gains access to the file allocation system, it can even wipe out complete directories. A lot of important files are split or fragmented into a number of parts. FAT viruses are capable of detecting and tracking all of these fragments and therefore effectively gain control over all the files on the system.
FAT stands for file allocation table which is a system most commonly used in Microsoft for maintaining and accessing information about all files. The FAT is basically an index which stores the addresses of all the files on the hard drive. FAT viruses infect this file allocation table causing widespread damage.
How do they Operate
There are multiple ways in which these FAT viruses. A lot of them simply disguise themselves as system files or bury themselves within files which are used by the system. As soon as the FAT makes contact with the corrupt file, the virus is triggered infecting the system. A lot of FAT viruses are created to destroy or overwrite entire directories which can result in permanent loss of data. Strong FAT viruses if not checked can make the entire computer system unusable along with causing widespread damage.
Fat viruses have the ability to spread to other files and infect other sectors of the system. This happens when an already infected file allocation tree tale tries accessing other files which are still untouched by the virus.
Avoiding FAT Infection
One of the best ways of avoiding such FAT viruses is to use an updated version of a strong anti-virus system. Most systems administrators should routinely monitor the version of the operating system that is being used. They should also make sure to update their antivirus software with the latest patch. Network administrators should note all sources of downloads that are being employed by the users. Customized firmware should be used which restricts downloads to only trusted sites.
FAT viruses are not only restricted to computer systems but might also infect other electronic devices such as storage media, smartphones, and digital cameras. It is always advised to scan all external devices that are being connected to the computer as well as maintain a strict protocol about the devices that are being connected.
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