Be Malware Aware: What are the Different Types of Malware?

Malware is a broad term that refers to any software with a malicious intent. Malware comes in a variety of forms, each with its own method of infecting your computer. These methods may include attempting to obtain unauthorized control of your computer systems, stealing personal information, encrypting critical information, or causing other harm to your computer. Damage can sometimes be irreversible. Email attachments, infected websites, torrents, and shared networks are all popular malware sources.

Common types of Malware

1) Trojan

A trojan is a type of malware that is presented as a legitimate file or software in order to trick users into downloading and installing it. A trojan can give an attacker complete control over an user’s computer once it has been installed, allowing them to steal sensitive information, install additional software, or even hijack the victim’s computer for use in a botnet.

There are multiple different types of trojans, each with its own features and severity. Some trojans just display unwanted advertising, while others can create disruption on a victim’s computer by destroying files, distorting data, or even stealing personal data.

2) Virus

A virus is malicious code that is programmed to replicate itself and spread to other software. It is a computer program that is injected into a legitimate software system and run without the user’s consent or knowledge. A virus has the ability to corrupt or erase data, damage the system, and even steal data.

3) Worms

A worm is a type of malware that is intended to spread itself by infecting other computers. Unlike viruses, which require user engagement to spread, worms can spread without human intervention. This makes managing and controlling them much more difficult. worms can cause bottlenecks, resulting in a denial of service. They are also capable of deleting files or corrupting data. Worms have been used to launch attacks on other systems in some cases.

4) Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the files of a victim and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. The number of ransomware attacks has increased dramatically in recent years, making it a growing problem for both individuals and organizations.

Ransomware is typically distributed via phishing emails or by downloading infected files from the internet. When a system is infected with ransomware, it encrypts the victim’s files and displays a ransom note demanding payment to decrypt the files. Payment is typically demanded in cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, to make tracing payments more difficult. Still there is no guarantee that the files will be decrypted after the ransom is paid.

5) Spyware

Spyware is any software that installs itself on your computer and begins monitoring your online activity without your knowledge or permission. Spyware is a type of malware that collects information about a person or organization in secret and relays it to third parties.

6) Spam

Spam is any type of unwanted, unrequested digital communication that is sent in large quantities. Spam is frequently delivered via email, but it can also be delivered via text messages, phone calls, or social media.

Many of these messages are caught by email spam filters, and phone carriers frequently warn you of a “spam risk” from unknown callers. Some spam messages do get through, whether via email, text, phone, or social media. 

Final Words

Attackers use a variety of techniques and methods to disrupt and compromise users, networks, and systems. Basic security practices like regular user awareness training and patch management, will put you / your organization in a much better position to create actionable steps to mitigate unwanted threats and make a significant difference in the overall cyber security improvement program.

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