Most common types of Malware everyone should know about

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Last month the world experienced a devastating ransomware attack, known was WannaCry which affected more then 200,000 computers. Users had their data locked by the computer and had to pay the ransom to retrieve their data. A few days after WannaCry came another malware names “Judy”, which targeted Android smartphones. It is an auto-clicking malware which generates fraudulent clicks on advertisements, generating revenue for the persons behind it.

Today, CheckPoint researchers have discovered ¬†another malware named “Fireball” which has already affected about 250 million computers and India having the worst hit with an infection rate of 10.1% or around 25.3 million PCs. It was developed by a Chinese digital marketing company Rafotech. The malware hijacks the user’s browser and drives traffic to fake search engines, earning a commission in the process.

With the increase of Malware attacks everyday, users must have information about the most common types of Malware and the necessary steps to be taken when a Malware has affected a computer. There a 6 common types of Malware which can affect your computer. In this post, we can get to know about the most common types of Malware and its characteristics.

VIRUS

A virus is a program which gets attached itself to an executable file or a software. It gets activated once you run the software. It is designed to damage the computer on which it gets activated and corrupt the data stored in the computer. Even a simple virus can corrupt the data, format your hard disk or make your computer to crash.

A computer virus does not activate by itself and requires human interaction. But once it is activated it can spread to other files on your computer. It is mostly spread through email attachments and downloads from internet. Always be careful when you download an email attachment or downloading files from a unknown website.

WORM

A worm is a standalone computer program which can replicate itself in order to spread to other computers. It is often spread through computer network. Worms rely on the security weakness of the network in the target computer to spread to other computers. It can also spread through email, instant messaging apps and P2P programs.

A worm is differentiated from a virus, as a worm can spread from one computer to another without requiring a host file or intervention from anyone. Worms are often used to execute a payload, a piece of code which cam damage the system. These payloads can delete files on host system, encrypt data for a ransomware attack, steal information and create botnets which can be controlled by hackers. Even a payload free worm can cause harm to a system when the consume bandwith and overload the web server.

TROJAN

Trojan is a type of software which enters your computer disguised as a legitimate software. It tricks users into downloading and installing it. As soon as you install a trojan in your computer you giving an opening for cyber criminals to perform malicious activities on your computer. Trojans can erase data, monitor user activity, steal financial information, install other malware on your computer and perform Denial of Service(DoS) attacks on a specific web address.

Trojan was named after the Trojan Horse which was used by the ancient Greeks to enter Troy. When a Trojan is combined with a worm the damage that can cause to a computer is limitless.

RANSOMWARE

Ransomware is a type of Malware which encrypts data on your computer and demands ransom for the release of the documents. Ransomware usually spreads through trojans, redirected ads or exploit kits. When a ransomware has infected your computer the only way to get your data back is by paying the ransom.

Ransomware has become very popular because of the activities of the ransomware, WannaCry.

SPYWARE

Spyware is a software which is installed on your computer without your knowledge. It is designed to track your browsing habits and internet activities. The information is them transmitted to a central server and used for advertising purposes.

Spyware was originally designed for marketing purposes but new variations include collecting personal information from your computer and changing your PC’s configurations which may cause your computer to slow down.

ADWARE

Adware is a short term for advertisement supporting software. Adware is a malware which displays ads automatically on your screen when you are online. An adware works closely with spyware and delivers ads which advertisers think you may be interested based on your browsing habits. It comes bundled with free softwares. Adware blocks the users screen by showing unsolicited pop-up ads and sponsored advertising which you can’t skip and annoys an user. Adware is the least harmful type of malware.

With the increase in technology, also comes the risk of malware and the increase in cyber crime. It is our duty to protect ourselves from malicious malware as best as we can by following safe practices and putting up safeguards to protect us from malware attacks.

 

 

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