What is Malware?
Malware has been a threat to individuals and organizations since the beginning of the 1970s when the Creeper virus first appeared. Since then, our planet has been under fire from thousands of different malware variants, all with the intent of causing the foremost disruption and damage as possible. Malware does not physically damage the hardware.
Malware is a form of software that’s specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computing system.“Malware” is brief for “malicious software” -computer programs or codes designed to infiltrate, damage, or disable the computer, Computer Systems, networks without the user’s consent. It can steal, encrypt, or delete your data, alter or hijack core computer functions, and spy on your computer activity without your knowledge or permission.
As Microsoft puts it, “[malware] is a catch-all term to refer to any software designed to cause damage to a single computer, server, or computer network.”
“Malware” is an umbrella term covering all the different types of threats to your computer safety such as viruses (previous post), spyware, worms, trojans, rootkits and so on.
Types of Malware
Possibly the most common type of malware, the virus can execute itself and spread by infecting other programs or files. It is a kind of malicious code or program written to change the way a computer operates and is meant to spread from one computer to a different computer and again another computer and so on… A virus operates by inserting or attaching malicious code to clean code so as to execute its code. In the process, a virus acts like an epidemic and has the potential to cause unexpected or damaging effects, like, harming the system software, core functionality of the system, or by corrupting, deleting or destroying data.
Some of the dangerously damaging Viruses are Blaster, Code Red, and Creeper.
Spyware, as its name suggests, is designed to spy on what a user is doing and collect information and data on the device without the user’s knowledge, hiding in the background.It is unwanted software that infiltrates computing devices, stealing internet usage data and sensitive information as mentioned above.
Some spyware can install additional software and change the settings on the device. It is always important to use secure passwords and keep devices updated.
Some of the common spyware is, Adware, Trojan, Tracking cookies and system Monitors
Worms get their name from the way they infect systems.A worm can self-replicate without a host program and typically spreads without any human interaction or directives from the malware authors.
Starting from one infected machine, they weave their way through the network, connecting to consecutive machines in order to continue the spread of infection. This type of malware can infect entire networks of devices very quickly.
Some of the common worms are, ILOVEYOU, Michelangelo, and MSBlast
This type of malware is very dangerous. It encrypts targeted files. Cybercriminals then demand a ransom payment from the victim in exchange for decrypting the system’s data.They delete encrypted files if the victim fails to make payment within fixed time say 72 hours.
Also known as scareware, it carries a heavy price. With 500,000 victims, ransomware of different variants made upwards of $30 million in 100 days.
Some of the well-known ransomware are CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, Locky, TeslaCrypt, and CryptoWall.
Trojan horse is a type of program downloaded and installed on a computer that appears harmless. It is designed to appear as a legitimate program in order to gain access to a system. Once activated following installation, Trojans can execute their malicious functions.A Trojan is meant to wreck, disrupt, steal, or generally, inflict some other harmful action on your data or network.
Some of the most common types of Trojan malware are Backdoor Trojan, Fake AV Trojan, and Game-thief Trojan
A rootkit, a software program is designed to assign a user with administrator access to a computer without being detected. Any user can get administrator privileges to perform activities for which the user is not authorized.A rootkit will contain malicious tools, including banking credential stealers, password stealers, keyloggers, antivirus disablers, and bots for distributed denial-of-service attacks.
Some of the top rootkit types that can pose threats to enterprises and individuals are Kernel-mode Rootkit, Bootkit, and Virtual Rootkit.
Adware, or advertising-supported malware, is wont to describe unwanted software that displays advertisements on your device. An adware virus is a PUP (potentially unwanted program), a program that is installed without express permission from the user.
Adware is employed to trace a user’s browser and download history with the intent to display pop-up or banner advertisements that lure the user to buy something
Examples of some adware are Fireball, Appearch, and DollarRevenue.
A keylogger sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor is a sort of surveillance technology that is used to monitor and record each keystroke typed on a selected computer’s keyboard. The keystroke loggers are either software programs or hardware devices.
Some types of Keyloggers are API-Based Keyloggers, Grabbing-Based Keyloggers, and Kernel-Based Keyloggers
Malvertising (malicious advertising) is typically online advertising used to spread malware.
For example, a cybercriminal might pay to place an ad on a legitimate website. When a user clicks on the ad, code in the ad either redirect them to a malicious website, or installs malware on their computer.