Computer hackers regularly break into computer systems and networks to steal or destroy information. Because attackers are constantly creating new ways to get access to your data, it’s hard to stay one step ahead. If you don’t take the right precautions, malware can destroy your operating system or even your business.
If you’ve ever received an unknown email attachment or had a strange alert pop up across your screen, chances are you’ve come across malware. The term malware is simply short for “malicious software” and covers everything from:
- Trojan Horse
Malware can cause different kinds of damage, including stealing your personal and financial data, stealing network data, assuming control of your devices, and monitoring your very own actions and keystrokes so that the hackers can steal your passwords or other information.
A computer virus is one of the primary methods hackers use to infiltrate a user’s system. This type of malware contaminates other files or the hardware itself. Common computer viruses include:
- Resident Virus
- Direct Action Virus
- Web Scripting Virus
- Network Virus
- File Infector
- Overwrite Virus
Another type of malware you want to look out for is worms. A worm clones itself to circulate its infection among computers connected to one another on the same network. Worms are usually transferred via platforms like instant messaging, Whatsapp, or email. When an innocent user opens the message, a file downloads, causing chaos on the user’s system, all without the user’s knowledge.
Ransomware is another method used to block a user from having access to their information. In this kind of attack, a hacker will encrypt a user’s or company’s file and hold it for ransom until the user (or company) pays a specific price for the hacker to release it.
According to a report by Securelist, the trend for Ransomware in 2021 has been to target large entities, such as global corporations and government organizations. Cybercriminals are now asking for twice as much ransom money than they were in 2020.
A Trojan Horse (named after the wooden horse in the Greek legend) is a program hidden within another program. Unlike other viruses, Trojan Horses do not clone themselves. Trojans make up roughly half of all malware.
While the Trojan Horse attacks a computer operating system, it can also create a backdoor or port to the system, which is used by hackers as a vulnerable attack point.
Trojans do not simply affect computer operating systems. Today, hackers target mobile phone devices as well. Android cell phones and tablets are among the most common Trojan Horse targets. Specific examples of Mobile Trojans are Cerberus, SpyEye/Trojan, Android/Spitmo, and Ginp banking.
Spyware is a diverse class of malware with many different purposes. Spyware is used to:
- Spy on your personal data
- Steal your identity
- Sell your internet data
- Steal your credit card information
- Take your banking information
It’s a genuine threat to people and businesses alike because of its ability to collect sensitive information about users, their computers, and their browsing habits. Because it has access to information regarding data usage, it can also cause widespread chaos to your network.
Spyware tracks your actions and sends the collected data to cybercriminals. It works in a similar method to adware but is normally installed unwittingly while you are installing a separate application.