All About Malware
Malware is an abbreviated term which meant for any “malicious software.” Malware is a program or file that is harmful to anybody using computer. It includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses and spyware. These malicious programs perform a variety of functions, which includes stealing, encrypting or deleting sensitive data, altering or hijacking core computing functions and monitoring users’ computer activity without their permission.
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Well, If you want to know about all the major kinds of malware and their functionalities then go for Kinds Of Malware and their functionalities
The history of malware:
Virus creators, or “virus writers”, started off writing viruses in the early 1980’s. Till the late 1990’s most of the viruses were just pranks made in order to irritate the computer users and to obverse how far a virus could spread. The writers were mainly young programmers, some still in their teens, who didn’t always understand the huge consequences of their actions. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, virus writers and hackers began to become aware of their talents, and started putting their talent to more professional and sometimes criminal use.
Kinds of Malware and their functionalities?
The modus operandi or the behavior can be used to categorize the malware. The following is a list of common types of malware
Virus: Like their biological namesakes, viruses attach themselves to clean files and infect other clean files. They spread wildly, damaging the system’s core functionality and deleting or corrupting files. They usually look as an executable file and hide under the legit file names.
Trojans: It can disguise itself as legitimate software, or is included in legitimate software that has been tampered with. It has a tendency to to act discretely and create backdoors entry in your security to let other malware in. Example like banking trojans- Zeus, Neverquest.
Spyware: No surprise here: spyware is designed to spy on you. It hides in the background and takes a note of what you do online, including your passwords, credit card numbers, surfing habits and more. No need to mention here the threat it poses.
Worms: Worms infect entire networks of devices, either local or across the internet, by using network interfaces. It uses each consecutive infected machine to infect more.
Ransomware: This form of malware can lock your computer and threaten to erase everything — unless a ransom is paid to its owner. For example, it is designed to infect a user’s system and encrypt the data. Cybercriminals then demand a ransom payment from the victim in exchange for decrypting the system’s data. That is why it is also called scareware. Few examples of malware are- Petya, Originated ransomware from Ukraine
Adware: Though not always malicious in nature, particularly aggressive advertising software can undermine your security just to serve you ads — which can give a lot of other malware a way in. Let’s face it this reality: pop-ups are really annoying.
Botnets: Botnets are networks of infected computers that are made to work together under the control of an attacker.
Major Sources from where malware can infilters into your PC?
1.It most commonly gets access to any device through the Internet (through drive-by downloads, which automatically download malicious programs to users’ systems without their approval or knowledge) and via email.
- But it can also get access through hacked websites, game demos, music files, toolbars, freeware software, free subscriptions.
- Also from anything you download from the web onto a device which is not protected with anti-malware software.
- Bundled Software: This is by far the most economical way to expand the horizons of such malwares. Such malwares are bundled with third party software that you might download off the internet. Bundling is the core source of revenue for the so called freeware software. Thus it is a good practice to read the terms and conditions while installing these freeware. It is also advised to read the installation screens carefully to avoid installing such infections.
Symptoms of any Malware infection in your PC:
- SLOWDOWNS- One of the early signs of infections can be determined by the slowing down of internet speed and sluggish PC performance. If you note such a tendency and you’re not running heavy applications or programs, then this may be a cause for alarm. You have low RAM memory, or lack of space on your hard drive, if you have already thoroughly confirmed these possible causes and all seems fine, you can start considering a potential malware infection.
- POP-UPS- One of the most infuriating signs of the presence of malware is represented by the unwanted pop-up windows. Unexpected pop ups which appear on the system are a typical sign of a spyware infection.
- CRASHES- There are two things that can cause this type of issues:
- You could be dealing with a technical issue
- It can be a malware issue. The best example if your programs or your system crashes regularly or the infamous BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) appears frequently. It is a clear warning that your system is not working properly and you should look into it.
- SUSPICIOUS HARD DRIVE ACTIVITY- If you notice that your disk continues to exhibit unnecessary activity even when you don’t use it and there is no program or download running then this is another warning sign of a potential malware infection on your system is the hard drive activity.
Protection Against Malware:
So what steps can be taken to make sure your computer or network is malware-free?” The answer has two parts:
- Personal vigilance: As we are now aware that the most common ways for it to spread is by email, which may be disguised to look as if it is from a familiar company such as a bank, or a personal email from a friend. Be wary of emails that ask you to provide passwords. Or emails that seem to be from friends, but have only a message such as “check out this cool website!” followed by a link.
- Protective tools. Personal caution is the first level of protection against it, but simply being careful is not enough. Because business security is not perfect, even downloads from legitimate sites can sometimes have malware attached. Which means that even the most sensible user is at risk, unless you take additional measures. You can also check a lot of online Free Malware Removal Tool which provides removal steps for an anti-malware virus.
Tips to Prevent Malware From Infecting Your System:
- Enable your popup blocker: Pop-ups and ads in the websites are the most adoptable tactic used by cyber criminals or developers with the core intention to spread malicious programs. So, avoid clicking uncertain sites, software offers, pop-ups etc.
- Keep your Windows Updated:To avoid such infections, we recommend that you should always keep your system updated through automatic windows update. By doing this you can keep your device free from virus. According to survey, outdated/older versions of windows operating system are an easy target.
- Third party installation:Try to avoid freeware download websites as they usually install bundled of software with any installer or stub file.
- Regular Back up: Regular and periodical backup helps you to keep your data safe in case the system is infected by any kind of virus or any other infection. Thus always backup important files regularly on a cloud drive or an external hard drive.
- Always have an Anti-Virus: Precaution is better than cure. We recommend that you install an antivirus like McAfee or a good Malware Removal Tool like Free Malware RemovalTool. Apart from this we would suggest a regular updating of these software to detect and avoid latest infections.
- Don’t open email attachments from unknown or unexpected sources.
- Read Installation screens of software that you download from the internet carefully.
- Scan all external devices like Jump Drives before you open them.