What is Malware? Malware, also known as “adware,” “spyware,” is computer software designed with the sole purpose of interfering with, damaging, or even destroying electronic devices, networks, and servers. It typically is used to attack computer systems, to hack into devices, to infiltrate websites, or to steal information. In short, it’s bad-ware.
Malware may be programmed to do a number of malicious activities.
Some examples include the takeover of a company website by hackers who gain access to the login information and data. Other malware, such as spyware, can capture your banking and credit card information. And sometimes malware acts as a nuisance by slowing down or otherwise negatively affecting an operating system, redirecting you to false web sites, or announcing something that is not true.
One thing is for sure – some types of malware are very serious.
Unfortunately, some malicious software, referred to as “rogue antivirus” programs, have become so common that they have created a large segment of the internet. These are programs that install and/or perform malicious activities, including the theft of confidential corporate information, employee theft, system and network damage, browser hijacking, phishing, spamming, advertisement posting, and more. This has had a significant impact on the way in which many businesses operate today. Fortunately, there are some techniques you can employ to protect your business against these common types of malware.
One of the first things any IT support expert will do is to asses the threats to the infrastructure. Malware commonly invades a computer by creating and then using fake software installations, viruses, and Trojans, in order to gain access to the vital functions and personal data on the infected machines. Common malware include: spyware (also known as “adware”), Trojans (which are programmable micro-downloads), worms, viruses, malware, backdoor tools, spoofing, and more. In order to prevent these problems from impacting your business, you need to be able to identify the common types of malware infecting your infrastructure, develop an effective approach for countering those threats, and then execute it against the infected machines.
Botnets are another type of malware which is very common, particularly on the Internet. Botnets are groups of infected computers which are used (with the permission or agreement of the owner) to send spam, send email, download software applications, and perform other activities. Botnets are often used to carry out phishing scams on behalf of other individuals. In most cases, botnets infect unsecured networks such as web servers, wireless hotspots, and public IP addresses. The goal of these malicious programs is to monitor and obtain the personal and financial information of people who use or visit certain websites.
Ransomware is a specific type of Malware that attacks your computer by blocking your computer’s processes while allowing the hackers to write their own code, making it difficult to remove. This Malware typically comes in the form of a video message, screen saver, audio file, or game that requires payment to be accessed. When running a Malware program, your system will display a series of multiple screens, all of which have the same appearance (e.g., a message box). If you attempt to open any of the messages, the operating system will proceed to block the computer services until payment is achieved. The payment can be in one or multiple currencies (e.g., PayPal, Authorize Net, Google Checkout, etc.)
A well-known form of Malware that is infecting millions of end-users across the globe is named “lockerlock”. Lockerlock is also a commonly known form of “Malware” because the program installs itself on the computer and changes various system settings without your consent or knowledge. With the latest versions of this Malware, the infected file even includes a module that prevents anti-virus programs from loading properly. Because this type of Malware is so dangerous and difficult to remove, it is advised that you run an effective online malware removal tool to remove it completely. When searching for an online malware removal tool, make sure that the tool has the latest definitions so that it can completely eliminate any threats associated with this infection.
- One of the most recent forms of Malware that is sweeping the internet is known as cloud exploit.
- An example of this virus is the Remote Access Virus that is installed on 100’s of computers around the world.
- This infection requires a web browser to connect to a remote server so that it can upload and download various files and programs, which are then executed when you view them, leading to the complete theft of data.
- Due to the large quantity of potential infections, many companies are turning to managed services for their businesses in order to better protect their data from these threats and so that they can grow and thrive.