What is malware?

December 7, 2022
Describe Malware

Definition of malware

Malware is a term that is created by combining the terms “malicious” and “software.” Malware is software created to harm the interests of the system or device’s owner. While some types can enter your device on their own, others need to be planted there.

What is malware used for? The intensity of its impacts varies, ranging from collecting comparatively innocuous data to demanding ransom or intentionally damaging your device.

Malware types and malware assaults

Below, you’ll discover a variety of malware kinds. We’ll limit ourselves to some of the most prevalent malware samples because there are endless variations available. Here are the top three malware categories:

Adware is a relatively harmless category of harmful software that prioritizes money-making over causing damage to your computer. This intrusive advertising-supported software shows banner ads in program windows and on websites. Pop-up advertising will be the predominant symptom, however others may also appear. They could appear in applications, websites, or apps that didn’t have them previously as well as on your desktop.

A definition of malware

  1. Spyware
    Spyware is designed to spy on you, surprise! While remaining undetected, this spyware keeps track of your online surfing and computer use. It has the ability to collect keystrokes, modify security settings, and even capture passwords, financial information, and emails. It transmits all of the data it collects to a distant user. Without your consent, it can potentially download and install more harmful programs.
  2. Virus
    A computer virus will spread from host to host to infect as many devices as it can, much like a biological virus does. It can spread through downloads, email, social media, or text messages when attached to files or programs.
    A virus typically cannot attack a computer on its own; instead, it requires a user to launch the program it is attached to. The damage brought on by viruses can range from minor annoyances like changing the desktop background to serious system crashes or total data loss.
  3. Worm
    Since they do not directly harm a system, worms might appear to be far more benign than viruses. The only objective of a worm is to replicate itself and propagate over a local disk or network.
    Worms don’t necessarily have to be combined with “payloads” intended to harm a system or steal data. Creeper, the first worm, just informed afflicted users of its existence.
  4. Trojan
    Trojan virus, like the Trojan horse from Greek mythology, infects computers by concealing itself in seemingly benign programs. Once it’s there, it can either completely lock you out of your computer or create backdoors for hackers to break into your system and steal your data. For instance, the Zeus trojan logs the keystrokes and login information of its victims. Data theft by Emotet from both people and businesses was well-known.
  5. Ransomware
    Due to its capacity to spread swiftly and wreak expensive harm, ransomware is one of the most dangerous cyber dangers. Ransomware is intended to generate revenue. The virus locks off the user after gaining access to a machine through a system weakness and encrypting all data. The victim is then prompted to pay a ransom to unlock the data.
  6. Keylogger
    Keylogging is the practice of keeping track of the characters a user writes in order to decipher their delicate passwords or observe secret chats. There are many different kinds of keyloggers, including those based on hardware or stalkerware. They may become exceedingly difficult to find as a result of this.

How to propagate malware

Your gadgets might become infected with malware in a number of ways. Listed below are a handful of the more typical ones:

  1. Email
    Email is the most common means of virus transmission. People are still duped into clicking on links or downloading attachments that contain malware by both basic spam and sophisticated phishing assaults.
  2. Sloppy browsing
    You probably will get on a malicious website if you click on any pop-up or advertisement you see while online. The virus will be downloaded in the background, and before you know it, your device will be infected with a trojan or keylogger.
  3. Coworkers
    The internal network is used by certain malware to propagate from one device to another. As an illustration, someone in the company neglected to take their cybersecurity course and clicked on a dangerous link. The next day, everyone’s PCs have been infected, their data are all encrypted, and they are unable to access their accounts.
  4. Packaged software
    Malware has a reputation for riding along. Therefore, even if you download a reliable piece of software, you could get more than you bargained for. Malware may be installed alongside genuine software without your knowledge, and it can range in severity from mildly bothersome adware to spyware that steals your banking information.