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Analyzing a Technical Text (Grade 9)

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Analyzing a Technical Text

Worms and viruses are rather unpleasant terms that have entered the jargon of the computer industry to descry some of the ways that computer systems can be invaded.

A worm can be defined as a program that transfers itself from computer to computer over a network and plants itself as a separate file on the target computer's disks. One worm was injected into an electronic mail network where it multiplied uncontrollably and clogged the memories of thousands of computers until they could no longer function.

A virus is a set of illicit instructions that passes itself on to other programs or documents with which it comes on contact. It can change or delete files, display words or obscene messages, or produce bizarre screen effects. In its most vindictive form, a virus can slowly sabotage a computer system and remain undetected for months, contaminating data or wiping out an entire hard drive. A virus can be dealt with using a vaccine, or antivirus, which is a computer program that stops the virus form spreading and often eradicates it.
  1. eliminates
  2. allows
  3. repeats
  4. produces
  1. prevent
  2. destroy
  3. transfer
  4. produce
How does the passage help the reader understand that a worm is not a creature found in the dirt?

What purpose does this sentence serve "It can change or delete files, display words or obscene messages, or produce bizarre screen effects"?
  1. To further add to the definition of a virus
  2. To provide the sole definition of a virus
  3. To show how a virus and worm are alike
  4. To define what a worm is
What information does the text give about a virus that it does not give about a worm?
  1. Information on how to get rid of a virus
  2. A definition of what a virus is
  3. Specific examples of a virus in action
  4. Details to expand upon the definition of a virus
Cyber security, phishing, worms, firewalls, Trojan horses, hackers, and viruses seem to be in the news every day. Plus warnings to update your virus protection, watch out for online scams, protect your privacy, and watch what you click on are everywhere. But what does it all mean? And what can you do to safeguard access to your computer and to protect yourself and your family? What is this all about?

The first step in protecting yourself is to recognize the risks and become familiar with some of the terminology associated with cyber security. The Department of Homeland Security created this list of terms:

Hacker, attacker, or intruder - These terms are applied to the people who seek to exploit weaknesses in software and computer systems for their own gain. Although their intentions are sometimes fairly benign and motivated solely by curiosity, their actions are typically in violation of the intended use of the systems they are exploiting. The results can range from mere mischief (creating a virus with no intentionally negative impact) to malicious (stealing or altering information).

Malicious code includes code such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Although some people use these terms interchangeably, they have unique characteristics:

•Viruses - This type of malicious code requires you to actually do something before it infects your computer. This action could be opening an email attachment or going to a particular web page.

•Worms - Worms propagate without you r doing anything. They typically start by exploiting a software vulnerability (a flaw that allows the software's intended security policy to be violated). Then once the victim computer has been infected, the worm will attempt to find and infect other computers. Similar to viruses, worms can propagate via email, web sites, or network-based software. The automated self-propagation of worms distinguishes them from viruses.

•Trojan horses - A Trojan horse program is software that claims to do one thing while, in fact, doing something different behind the scenes. For example, a program that claims it will speed up your computer may actually be sending your confidential information to an intruder.

•Spyware - This sneaky software rides its way onto computers when you download screensavers, games, music, and other applications. Spyware sends information about what you're doing on the Internet to a third-party, usually to target you with pop-up ads. Browsers enable you to block pop-ups. You can also install anti-spyware to stop this threat to your privacy.
Why did the author create this passage about online security?
  1. To provide people with ways to stay safe online
  2. To introduce some of the key terms involved with staying safe online
  3. To make people aware of the threats found online
  4. To put an end to cyberbullying and other online attacks
Viruses, worms, and spyware are types of malicious code.
  1. True
  2. False
During the Trojan War, the Greeks used a Trojan horse to gain entry into the city of Troy and carry out a sneak attack on their enemies.

How does this connect with the computer term Trojan horse?

Of all the types of malicious code, which appears to be the least dangerous?
  1. Virus
  2. Worm
  3. Trojan horse
  4. Spyware
Why are only some of the terms bulleted?

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