Your data faces a lot of risks, vulnerabilities, and threats every day – whether you are online or offline. A good majority of these threats are malware threats. Malware is the short form of malicious software. Malware is a software designed with the specific intent to harm your data and achieve something sinister either directly or indirectly. Most times, malware either delete your data, damages your systems or even keeps disrupting services across a network. There are many types of malware, and we are going to look at the most common ones in this article.
This is the most known type of malware. It is aptly named due to its similarities to the biological virus. In computers, viruses are malicious programs designed with various intents. They mostly alter/delete ones’ data and this could lead to a system crash. Viruses attach themselves to a host program, and when the program is launched, the viruses get executed. Due to the dependency from its host, viruses that are usually spread through downloads have various attachments.
A worm is a type of malware that acts as carriers due to their ability to spread across networks rapidly and in a manner that they are not detected for a long time. It is due to this ability why it got the name worm. What makes worms dangerous is that they can replicate themselves, find other network addresses and even have a working file. Since worms are technically carriers, they are usually paired with various payloads design to cause harm or even make the worm invincible. Worms on their own can cause information channels to crash due to their rapid replication.
This type of malware is also a cyber threat designed to damage the victim’s data or make a profit to its creator; the choice depends on the victim. Ransomware is like a worm in terms of how it spreads. Once it infects a system, it encrypts most of the user data and even lock a user out and then request for ransom in exchange for a decryption key. Nowadays, payments requested are sent using a cryptocurrency due to its anonymous nature.
We’ve all heard about the Greek mythology that depicts how the city of Troy fell due to a deceptive wooden horse during the Trojan war. The story retells how the Greek army hid in the wooden horse in which the Trojans took back to the city. In computer terminology, a Trojan malware does the same thing. A Trojan horse may seem nonsuspicious but when it successfully enters a system, it creates a backdoor for more harmful malware to enter your system.
As the name suggests, this is a type of malware that’s meant (well you guessed it) to spy on you. Spyware has the ability to monitor everything or something specific that you do on your computer. It tracks your internet behavior and records your keystrokes that can be decoded or interpreted to reveal your usernames and even passwords. It can also download other malware or programs without your permission. Spyware can be hard to detect since it hides inside legitimate programs.
Adware can be seen as the least harmful malware as they concentrate on making a profit rather than deleting your system files. Sometimes they may cause your CPU to overheat and crash your system. Adware can be annoying since they bombard you with ads and banners in a scheduled period of let’s say after 10 minutes. The situation becomes more frustrating when your antivirus/antimalware software doesn’t find anything when you scan your system.
Most of the above malware is primarily spread via the internet. To avoid them, always be cautious regarding what you download online.