The word ‘Malware’ is derived from the amalgamation of words malicious and software. It is a type of software that is particularly designed with the sole purpose of harming a target computer system by stealing data or causing disruption. In order to stay protected against malware, companies need to use specific anti-malware programs. But before choosing the correct anti-malware system, it is imperative to know about different types of malware.
Following are some common malware types:
- Virus: A computer virus is malicious code that has the ability to copy itself and spread to other files and folders. The code attaches itself to legitimate executable programs resent in the target system and launch when the program is executed. Some of the harmful functions performed by viruses are modifying or corrupting files, copying data, disrupting software functions, etc. As the virus is self-replicating, it is difficult to completely remove the virus completely.
- Worms: Worms are self-replicating and infect computers through vulnerabilities in the operating systems. Most worms are designed to consume lot of bandwidth and overload the servers. However, small number of worms can modify the existing files. Worms are used by the hackers to deliver payloads in target systems which are then launched to steal data, corrupt files, etc.
- Bot: An internet bot is an application designed to perform automatic functions. Hackers can engineer bots to infect computers and perform large scale DDOS attacks. The bots are programmed to infect multiple computer systems and form a botnet to over-flood the server with a large number of requests. Bots are also used to cause inconveniences like spamming and repetitively showing certain advertisements.
- Ransomware: Ransomware is a malicious software that completely locks the infected system until the user pays a ransom. Ransomware spreads like a worm across a network and has the ability to infect the network of an organization within hours. Some ransomware software do not lock the entire system, but encrypt critical data files. The users are asked to pay a ransom in exchange of decryption key.
- Spyware: It is a software that lies undetected in the target system. It’s purpose is to collect information on user activity and send it to the hacker’s server. This is done by monitoring usage, logging keystrokes, stealing user passwords, etc.
- Trojans: A Trojan is a malicious software that is designed to appear as a common, harmless attachment or downloadable file that may not be detected as harmful by the antivirus system. However, once downloaded, the software executes itself and causes damage such as stealing data, erasing or modifying files, altering system configuration, etc.
Detection Of Malware:
Some common signs that indicate presence of malware are:
- Slowing down of systems
- Reduced browsing speed
- Recurrent freezing of systems
- Modification of files
- Altered system settings
- Missing files
- Random appearance of new files or applications
Prevention Of Malware:
- Use reliable & authentic anti-virus
- Conduct regular scans
- Do not use pirated software
- Don’t open attachments from unknown sources
For more information on types, detection and prevention of malware, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.