Essay from the year 2002 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,0, University of Hamburg (Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik), 5 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Since the beginning of the internet age in the early 1980s, people have not merely been concerned with keeping the internet free from viruses. In point of fact, some people wreak havoc on the internet by creating and spreading nasty and disastrous computer viruses. Hence, the so-called hackers cause mayhem and destruction in the net. It is a fact that computer viruses cause great damage because they can pass from one computer to another like a biological virus, thus infecting the system. Hence, a computer virus can be regarded as the undesirable embodiment of human intelligence to interrupt and to create a vacuum in the constant flow of internet information. What is more, the history of the computer virus is laced with the human need to be recognized. Thus, many research projects show that the majority of virus creators crave public acknowledgement. However, there are many other reasons why people try to spread computer viruses. Nonetheless, all hackers can be seen as dangerous and harmful, being indifferent to the consequences of spreading viruses to themselves and to others. In the following, I will concentrate on the phenomenon of computer viruses. Therefore, I will focus on the reasons why computer viruses were brought to life, discussing the history of the computer virus and the effects it has taken on our society. It is a fact that hackers not only use viruses, worms and Trojan horses to cause a loss of information but also to gain control over remote systems and the information stored on these systems. For this reason, I will not only concentrate on the way the virus affects our everyday life but also on the effects it has in the business sector.