Malware is a program designed to gain access to computer systems for the benefit of some third party, without the user’s permission. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware and other malicious programs.
While most of us have heard of computer viruses but most of us haven’t heard of the other kinds of threats that exists on the World Wild West Web. So, for the sake of everyone’s knowledge let’s study that! we will see nine terms and their most simple definitions.
1. Malware (Malicious Software)
Malware is the umbrella term used to define any kind of intrusive software. Common examples of malware include computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and more.
A Virus is a malicious executable code attached to another executable file. The virus spreads when an infected file is passed from system to system. Viruses can be harmless or they can modify or delete data. Opening a file can trigger a virus. Once a program virus is active, it will infect other programs on the computer. Viruses require a computer user to activate the process, something usually accomplished by downloading a file or giving permission to a program to launch.
Worms are a subclass of viruses that can spread without requiring any user interaction. Worms can replicate themselves on the victim’s system and send out hundreds or thousands of copies of itself without victims ever knowing it. They can also slow down a computer and the entire network on which that computer is working. After a worm affects a host, it is able to spread very quickly over the network.
4. Trojan Horses
Trojans Horses (or just “Trojans”) are malware disguised as legitimate software. One example is a screensaver application that, once installed, also gives hackers other kinds of power over a victim’s computer and data.A Trojan horse is malware that carries out malicious operations under the appearance of a desired operation such as playing an online game. A Trojan horse varies from a virus because the Trojan binds itself to non-executable files, such as image files, audio files.
A rootkit is malicious software that takes control of the “root” levels of a victim’s computer. That control can be used to perform illegal or undetected activity on the victim’s personal or work computer that would not otherwise be allowed.A rootkit modifies the OS to make a backdoor. Attackers then use the backdoor to access the computer distantly. Most rootkits take advantage of software vulnerabilities to modify system files.
Spyware is any software that can change a victim’s computer configurations or collect data about a victim and potentially use that against them or others.Its purpose is to steal private information from a computer system for a third party. Spyware collects information and sends it to the hacker.
Adware is software that, after it downloads to a victim’s computer, unexpectedly shows advertisements. These advertisements range from small, non intrusive banners ads within a program to very invasive pop-up windows that can prevent work from being done.
8. Exploit Kits
Exploit kits are small applications that exploit and attack any known security holes found on a victim’s computer. Security holes are most often outdated operating systems or third-party software used by OS. Exploits work by targeting software that can be easily manipulated to make it behave in ways it was not intended to. Common exploits have focused on the vulnerabilities found in Adobe Reader, JRE and Adobe Flash Player.
Ransomware is malicious software that blocks access to the victim’s data until a ransom is paid. If the data is sensitive, ransoms can be demanded as an incentive, either to prevent publishing or deleting the data. Advanced ransomware can even encrypt a victim’s files, rendering them inaccessible even if the block is circumvented. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum are often used to pay the ransoms. This makes tracing payments and prosecuting the perpetrators extremely difficult. Ransomware has become a huge business in the past five years, allowing hackers to grab more than $1 billion in forced ransoms in 2016 alone.
Worms replicate themselves on the system, attaching themselves to different files and looking for pathways between computers, such as computer network that shares common file storage areas. Worms usually slow down networks. A virus needs a host program to run but worms can run by themselves. After a worm affects a host, it is able to spread very quickly over the network.
11. Logic Bombs
A logic bomb is a malicious program that uses a trigger to activate the malicious code. The logic bomb remains non-functioning until that trigger event happens. Once triggered, a logic bomb implements a malicious code that causes harm to a computer. Cybersecurity specialists recently discovered logic bombs that attack and destroy the hardware components in a workstation or server including the cooling fans, hard drives, and power supplies. The logic bomb overdrives these devices until they overheat or fail.
A backdoor bypasses the usual authentication used to access a system. The purpose of the backdoor is to grant the cyber criminals future access to the system even if the organization fixes the original vulnerability used to attack the system.
Keylogger records everything the user types on his/her computer system to obtain passwords and other sensitive information and send them to the source of the keylogging program
There are other kinds of malware, including those using a combination of the approaches we’ve just discussed. However, these are the most common varieties of which you should be aware of.
The ultimate solution of above malwares is to start using a good Anti-Malware Software such as:
Bit-defender, Norton Antivirus, Rootkit hunter, chkrootkit, Avast Antivirus, Malware Bytes Anti-Malware etc.