Vector as a malware

In computing, the word ‘Vector’ could either mean matrices or in the case of malicious code, it is the process on how viruses, malwares and worms infect a system to another. This term is derived from the biological meaning of a ‘vector’ like how malaria uses mosquitoes as vectors to spread diseases.

As the dawn of malicious code came about known as ‘virus’ or ‘worm’ or ‘malware’ (malicious ware), different methods of spread also came about over the years. At first malicious code can only affect machines that are directly connected to one another. Then came the use of removable disks such as floppy disks (side note: i miss these) which made it easier to transfer data from one machine to another. As the technology boomed, malware (or worm) used floppy disks as a ‘carrier’ or vector in order to affect more machines. Soon different media/devices have been used as vectors from electronic mails, html, flash drives, CD’s, etc.

So as we can see here, I used the term vector more as a carrier, like in biology, than its mathematical or computing definition. But if you think about it, as you trace these vectors in their evolution, we will be able to trace the path onto which technology has progressed as well. And we can learn a thing or two about them.