Recognition and repair of DNA damage is critical for maintaining genomic integrity and suppressing tumorigenesis. In eukaryotic cells, the sensing and repair of DNA damage are coordinated with cell cycle progression and checkpoints, in order to prevent the propagation of damaged DNA. The carefully maintained cellular response to DNA damage is challenged by viruses, which produce a large amount of exogenous DNA during infection. Viruses also express proteins that perturb cellular DNA repair and cell cycle pathways, promoting tumorigenesis in their quest for cellular domination. This review presents an overview of strategies employed by viruses to manipulate DNA damage responses and cell cycle checkpoints as they commandeer the cell to maximize their own viral replication. Studies of viruses have identified key cellular regulators and revealed insights into molecular mechanisms governing DNA repair, cell cycle checkpoints, and transformation.