Difference between Biological and Computer virus

Biological Viruses (or Human Viruses) are Nanotechnology by Nature while computer viruses are infectious agent by made by humans. Most often the people think Biological viruses and Computer viruses as a same entity, although both cause infection and damage to their host (or target) and some of their features & characteristics are same but they are quite different from each other. Following table enlists some interesting main difference between Biological Virus and Computer Viruses

1. Living – non living

Biological Virus
Biological viruses are living (at least to some extent) biological entity who can reproduce itself

Computer Virus
Computer viruses are non – living at all, they are manmade malicious computer coding which are programmed to perform specific functions

2. Host

Biological Virus
They are living, thus infects living things. Biological Viruses can infect all form of life including Human, Animals, Plants, Insects, Bacteria, Protozoa, Fungi, Archae and other viruses (Yes, there are some viriophage exist)

Computer Virus
They are programmed, thus made impact on programs (softwares) Computer viruses infect mostly PCs, Servers, websites and software. Computer viruses mostly targets PCs with MS windows Operating system and rarely other Operating System.

3. History

Biological Virus
The history of Biological virus’s evolution is dated back where the Life begins; they are as old as bacteria (about 2.5 billion year). The first written and proven case of viral infection is depicted on 3700 B.C old ancient painting which shows the case of poliomyelitis.

Computer Virus
The first computer virus was “Creepy” virus which is written (coded) in 1971 by Bob Thomas. This virus remotely spread and copied itself, just show the message “I am creepy, catch me if you can”.

4. Components

Biological Virus
As a biological entity or living organism, Biological virus contain genetic material (in the form of RNA or DNA), covered by a coat of protein (called Capsid) and sometime by a lipid Envelop

Computer Virus
A computer virus is not more than a few lines of code. It contains a script or code of programming language written in C, C++ or other assembly languages.

5. Mechanism of action

Biological Virus
Biological viruses infect their host after they enter the host body and reach inside the cell where the virus uses the host genetic material (DNA or RNA )to replicate and expend their population

Computer Virus
Computer viruses, similarly infect computers when they enter and reach the registry (or the specific components/area for which they are programmed) where they cause the damage (usually hiding or disabling some files or functions) 

6. Types

Biological Virus
Classify by many ways, mostly by the body system which the biological virus infect. Their types include Neuroviruses, Enteroviruses, Rhino viruses, Respiratory viruses, etc.

Structurally their classification include RNA viruses and DNA viruses

Computer Virus
Classify by the components or subsystem of the host which they infects. Their types includes, system viruses, Macro viruses (infect application e.g.MS Word, MS Outlook) and Boot sector viruses (which target Master Boot Record).

Programmatically their types include .exe viruses, .COM viruses or  a batch files (.bat) virus

7. Hazards

Biological Virus
They causes severe damage to the organ or system they involved which may be reversible (as in case of Hepatitis A, Flu) or lifelong irreversible (i.e. Poliomyelitis, Rabies or Hepatitis C viruses)

Computer Virus
They causes damage to the system or component of the PC which they infect and can result in burden on system memory, system crush and permanent lost of a document or a file or other data.

8. Benefits

Biological Virus
Biological viruses to some extent, are helpful and beneficial in the sense that they are being used in gene therapy to introduce therapeutic genetic material to the diseased cell (e.g. in case of cancer)

Computer Virus
Computer viruses, till to date, has no any beneficial role. They always cause damage and lost to the system am data.

9. Prevention

Biological Virus
Biological viruses are preventable by getting vaccinated against them. Vaccines (or even some viruses) help our boy to develop immunity against the occurrence or re-occurrence of the same disease again.

Computer Virus
Well, there is no such scenario in case of computer viruses, even with having a powerful Antivirus or fire wall on your system, your system may still got infected, as the developer continually write the malicious code and it across networks to get their job done.

10. Treatment

Biological Virus
Biological viruses can be treated to some extent with Antiviral drugs e.g. Acyclovir or you can get symptomatic treatment against them.

Computer Virus
Computer viruses can be detect and remove with the help of Antivirus. But still it is unpredictable how much damage they can left or made to the system and some time you need to re-install the operating system