Worried about malware? If not, you should be. These days, malware attacks are more frequent and dangerous than ever.
First things first: what is malware or malicious software? Simply put, this refers to software written with the intent of harming data or people. A malware-infected device may run slower, reboot randomly, or start unknown processes.
Malware comes in many forms, but some forms are more common than others. Here are five malware types you need to know about.
Table of Contents
For a virus to infect a system, its user must click on it or copy it to a host. Once that happens, most viruses will start self-replicating. They can also spread to another system via email, messages, or network connections.
Viruses will stay dormant until they spread to a network or several devices at once. Some file types—such as .exe or .doc—are more susceptible to virus infections. The best defense against viruses is having a good anti-virus.
Spyware is a type of malware designed to gain access to your computer. The goal is to collect confidential information such as personal data. Sites like https://cyberexperts.com/ have more information on how spyware works.
If a spyware attack proves successful, the attackers can sell off your data. They could also capture your bank account information or steal your identity. Spyware is most prevalent in software bundles or data-sharing sites.
As the name implies, keylogging is a way to record a user’s keystrokes. The person operating the keylogger can then retrieve this data. The person using the keyboard is usually unaware of the presence of the keylogger.
Some employers use keyloggers to track employee activity. In most cases, though, they’re used with malicious intent. Keyloggers can be physical wires discreetly connected to a keyboard or installed via a virus.
A rootkit is a back door program that allows a hacker to take control over a targeted system. The hacker can then change system configurations and execute files remotely. In doing so, they can cause data breaches.
Unlike Trojan Horse attacks, rootkits are getting more common in trusted applications. They’re also hard to get rid of, to the point that you may need to hire a cyber security expert to deal with them.
Worms are similar to viruses in that they can spread by self-replicating. They can spread via anything from email attachments to network connections. Once the first worm is in the system, it can quickly take over a network.
Unlike viruses, though, worms don’t need a host program to self-replicate. This arguably makes them even more dangerous. Worms are most often used against web servers, email servers, and database servers.
Other Malware Types to Watch Out For
If you’re not careful, a single malware attack can cost you thousands of dollars. Though no system is 100% “hacker-proof,” some prevention can go a long way. The above article will help you learn what to watch out for.
Want to know more about other malware types, such as bots and logic bombs? Keep checking out our Tech section!