Because the hardware that’s used within modern computers is relatively well protected against damage that can result from software faults, computer viruses seldom cause the failure of hardware components.

However, hardware failure is still a possibility:

  • A Trojan virus may perform a repetitive action – for example, repeatedly opening and closing the CD / DVD tray. Even though these electromechanical components are generally very reliable, this repeated opening and closing could eventually cause the CD / DVD drive to fail.
  • In 1999 the CIH virus – also known as Chernobyl – disrupted several hundred thousand computers, by deleting the data in each computer’s Flash BIOS. This made it impossible to boot – or start – the infected computers and the repairs were expensive:
    • Home users had to visit a service centre in order to get the Flash BIOS rewritten and restore the machine to working order.
    • For many laptops, the Flash BIOS had been soldered directly to the motherboard – so, in most cases, the cost of the repair exceeded the cost of a new laptop.

How to protect yourself against malware that causes hardware failure

By installing effective anti-malware software, you can defend your computers and mobile devices against all types of malware. Kaspersky Lab is recognised for its world-class anti-malware products that can secure a range of devices, including:

  • Windows PCs
  • Linux computers
  • Apple Macs
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets