Types of Malware

Over the years when people have contracted a nasty piece of code on their computers they would say that they caught a “virus”. The truth is that a “virus” is just one type of “malware”. Malware is any malicious piece of software that you more than likely do not want on to have running on your computer, phone or other smart device.

In this post I would identify and define various types of malware to give you a better understanding of what you are dealing with. The first step to resolving any problem is to figure out what the problem actually is.

Viruses

There is a very good reason why this type of malware is called a virus. A computer virus acts very much like a biological virus. It self-replicates and spreads by using a host file. When one device gets infected with a virus it has the potential to infect another and therefore spreads exponentially.

Crypto-Malware

Crypto-Malware is a more recent threat. This type of malware it typically a “silent threat”. The longer it goes undetected the more beneficial it is for the criminal. One of the main purposes for this type of malware is to utilize your computers processing power to mine for Cryptocurrency.

Worms

This type of malware is similar to a virus because it duplicates itself and then spreads to other computers within a network. Worms are standalone pieces of software however and do not need to be spread by using an infected host file.

Trojans

If you know the story of the Trojan horse then you will immediately see how this type of malware got its name. A piece of Trojan malware disguises itself as a legitimate program in order to get a user to install it. Once the user downloads and installs program it takes control of the system and starts causing damage.

Rootkits

Rootkits are considered to be one of the most dangerous pieces of malware. They are programs that are designed with the sole purpose of providing an unauthorized user with administrative rights without being detected. When a user has these types of permissions they have unlimited access to the system and can perform many malicious tasks.

Keyloggers

A keylogger is a piece of malware that is designed to record every keystroke you make on your computer or other device. When someone has a keylogger installed on your system that can easily gain usernames and passwords to your sensitive accounts. They are a very serious threat to your privacy because everything you type into your computer is recorded. This type of malware can be a piece of hardware or a piece of software. Sometimes they are programmed to send data remotely to a hacker over the internet.

Logic Bombs

When you think of logic bombs, think of a booby trap. This type of malware contains a secret set of instructions within a program or device. If certain criteria is met the logic bomb springs into action and can create all types of devastation. There have been documented examples of employees creating logic bombs that were designed to go off if their user accounts were disabled. If a business owner were to fire the employee and therefore disable their account the logic bomb would wreak chaos.

These are just a few examples of malware. There are many more.

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