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WHAT IS MALWARE?



Malware is short for “Malicious – Software”.

Malware is a set of code or software that are made to intentionally infect and harm the endpoints in the network. The cyber attackers use this Malicious software to infect and attack the devices.


Malware Threats


Nowadays malware is not directly installed on the victim’s device. Instead, it is sent and installed on the endpoint device using some techniques and by exploiting loopholes. Thus, these are the scopes that are to be mitigated by the security professionals when deploying cybersecurity.


Types of Malware Threats:


Social Engineering: When an attacker manipulates the user to extract sensitive information for personal gains, it is known as social engineering. Sometimes the malicious links or malicious files are sent to the victim during social engineering. As soon as the victim clicks on the malicious link or downloads the malicious file, the malware gets installed in the victim’s device.


Email: The attacker sends lucrative emails that tempt the user to click on the link provided in the email. As soon as the link is clicked, the malware gets downloaded itself in the background and infects the user’s PC.


Website cookies: Malware tampers web cookies. Thus, when you open a genuine site, this malicious cookie triggers and redirects you to the malicious sites. Thus, these sites may extract information or can download the malware into your system.


Planted Removable Medias: Sometimes the attacker intentionally plants the removable media with malware loaded in it to tempt the victim to check its data. As soon as you will plug it in your system, the malware will be automatically installed and will end up infecting your device.


Types of Malware


Malware’s are categorized and named based on the way they infect the system. There are several major types of malware to keep an eye out for. Some of them are as follows:


AdwareAdware is a kind of malicious software that is injected into the victim’s device using the advertisement pop-ups of needful software. Pop-ups of urgent requirements of antivirus, malware remover, etc. are embedded with the malicious link. As soon as the victim clicks on the link, the malicious file is downloaded in his/her system and infects the device.


Backdoor (trapdoor) — A backdoor allows cybercriminals to access a computer without the user’s knowledge. Backdoors are meant for future use and can remain in a system for years without being noticed.


Rogueware — Rogueware misleads users into believing their device is infected so they will click on a fake warning, which promptly installs malware.


Ransomware — Ransomware restricts users from accessing a system or its data, and often threatens to publish or delete data, until ransom is paid. Locker ransomware restricts access to the infected device, while crypto ransomware restricts access to stored data and files.

Thus, it is advisable to keep backup of your data.


Spyware — Spyware is designed to gather information about a user or business. Once installed, it can log keystrokes and extract sensitive information. Spyware can also enable hackers to watch and listen through cameras and microphones. This kind of malware exploits the vulnerabilities in the software.


Trojan horse — A Trojan horse comes attached to a normal file. Trojan malware disguises itself in the necessary files and then sends the data of your device to the attacker.


Virus — The oldest type of malware, viruses alters the way a computer operates. A virus can replicate itself but it cannot be transferred to the other device without human intervention. It can be attached to a document, mail attachments, scripts, etc.


Worm — Worms are the most common type of malware and one of the most dangerous, because they can replicate themselves without being attached to a program or run by a user. Worms exploits your operating system.

Prevention:


  • Keep your computer and software updated

  • Never click on not so secure and lucrative links as they may end up infecting your system.

  • Use encryption to secure data in Transit

  • Use secure authentication methods

  • Download Files, Software & Tools from Official Sources Only

  • Create and Maintain Regular (Encrypted) Backups of Your Data

  • Limit your file-sharing

  • Be cyber aware


Conclusion:


A cybercriminal can attack you from any side, anywhere, anytime, and anyhow. They use different types of malware to infect your devices and networks. Malware is one of the most common method of cyber-attack. But you can take measures by educating yourself, you’re less likely to become a victim of cyber-crimes.

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