Malware, or malicious software, is a term used to describe a software that is intended to damage or control an electronic devices. There are many different kinds of malware out there such as viruses, adware, spyware, worms, crypto malware, etc. Have you ever wondered what each one does and how to detect it?
Viruses are designed to spread from one host to another, similar to how the flu virus works. It’s able to attach and multiply itself, however it needs a “host cell” to infect other devices and multiply. They spread from host to host through any kind of sharing, such as email / text attachments, downloading files from the internet, mobile devices (phones, tablets, USB flash drives, etc), and questionable apps.
Worms are a form of malware that become deeply rooted in your operating system by replicating to very deep levels of the file system and programs. Worms differ from viruses by how they spread. They don’t need to attach themselves to anything to spread around, they are programmed to self-replicate similarly to viruses but are able to spread across networks, taking advantage of any vulnerability automatically.
Adware, as the name implies, is a form of software that automatically displays numerous popups of some sort of advertising materials on the screen. It can cause your device to respond much slower and cause many pop ups and general errors to occur.
Spyware is a software that unknowingly gets downloaded onto a device, attaining the user’s private information through internet interaction, keystrokes, password logs, etc. Spyware often attacks users who are already infected with adware or who download from non-credible sources. It can affect a device similarly to how adware does with lowering the performance of the device in addition to disrupting network connection, changing computer settings, etc.
A Trojan virus is a malicious program that is used to hack into a device through misleading terms. Often disguised as legitimate software, it enables cyber-criminals / invaders to access a user’s data, allowing invaders to spy on user’s, steal sensitive data and create further “backdoor” access to the user’s personal information.
Ransomware is a type of malware that will infect your computer and hold ransom data for sort. Cryptomalware is a common form of ransomware. It spreads mainly through email attachments that are seemingly harmless but once opened, activates the malware and it installs itself to the user profile, encrypting their files and demanding a payment for the decryption of the files in a certain time frame. If not paid in time, the files will be deleted and lost forever.
There are many different types of malware, and even more branches of each type. It’s always important to be aware of the kinds of sites you visit, what you’re downloading and even what emails you receive.
If you think your device could be infected, bring it in to Granite Computers Solution and we will gladly clean up your computer of any and all malicious software and get it up and running to the highest standards.