Malware is a potential term to define a malicious code written to perform mysterious actions on the target system. Malware can be injected either through social engineering or by injecting the user’s system without their knowledge. They can also attack your system through an external device. Although, the base of malware attacks have always been the Internet. Such software can perform malevolent acts to compromise computer functions, snip data, dodge access control, and other such acts that can harm the target system. To know if your system has been infected by any kind of malware, different warning signs can be observed on your system.
Malware continues to facilitate cyber-attacks, as attackers use malware as a key tool for their campaigns. One problem in computer security is therefore to detect malware, so that it can be stopped before it can achieve its objectives, or at least so that it can be expunged once it has been discovered. Below listed are a few symptoms to detect Malware in your system.
- Amplified CPU usage
- Sluggish computer or web browser while operating
- Connectivity issue faced frequently
- Unknown addition, modification or deletion of files
- The appearance of strange files, programs, or desktop icons
- Unexpected system behavior
- Emails/messages being sent automatically and without user’s knowledge
- Inability to delete a certain field
Malware is a broad term that refers to a variety of malicious programs. There are few well-known types of Malware as described below with their prevention techniques
A virus is a contiguous piece of code that infects software and then spreads from file to file on a system like a virus that can infect a person. When infected software or files are shared between computers either via network or any attached hardware device, the virus then spreads to the new host. Viruses are packaged in the form of executable files that can easily enter the system. For e.g., while sharing a video a usual .exe file can be packaged with this malicious program.
Similar to a spy, a hacker uses spyware to track your internet activities and steal the information without the host being aware of it. Usually, banking details are the Target of such codes. This software attacks the target and not just steals the information but also decelerates the system performance, especially when there is more than one program running on the system.
Adware is a short form of Advertising-supported software. Usually transferring spyware to host, this type of Malware automatically transfers advertisements wrapping the malicious code in it. Common examples of adware include pop-up ads on websites and advertisements displayed by software. Most adware is sponsored or authored by advertisers and serves as a revenue generating tool
This type of malware can be classified similarly to viruses, as they also replicate themselves and spread when they infect a computer. The difference, however, between a worm and a virus is that work doesn’t require the help of human or host program to spread. Instead they self replicate and spread across networks without the guidance of a hacker or a file/program to handle on-to.
This type of malware is disguised as a safe program designed to fool users so that they unwittingly install it on their system and later are sabotaged by it. Generally, the attacker uses this type of malware to steal both financial and personal information. It can do this by creating a “backdoor” to your computer that allows the hacker to remotely control it. This malware type does not replicate itself for potential threat but is capable of an equivalent or greater intensity of risk to the system.
This type of malware encrypts a victim’s file and modifies the access rights of the file. The attacker then asks for ransom from the victim to restore access to data upon payment. One of the most common ways ransomware attacks the system is through malicious spam, which is an unsolicited email that is used to deliver malware.
This Malware type installs itself as a result of clicking while browsing the Internet or downloading software. Keyloggers keep track of all of your keystrokes when you are using your PC and then transfers the information to a remote server. It is capable of recording all of your online conversations, emails, and password logins, as well as creating screenshots of all of your PC activity. The Keylogger records every keystroke that a user makes on their device by running in the background. It steals user credentials and confidential data and forwards it to the hacker for malicious purposes.
A rootkit is a concealed computer program designed to provide continued privileged access to a computer while actively hiding its presence. This software holds the ability to hide their existence and actions from users and other processes. Once a rootkit is installed on a system, the attacker can remotely execute files, access/steal information, modify system configurations, after software (especially any security software that could detect the rootkit), install concealed malware, or control the computer as a part of a botnet.
Bots are Internet robots also known as Crawlers, spiders and web bots. They are automated programs developed for performing repetitive tasks: Modern bots are programmed with both good and malicious intents. Malware bots help in taking complete control over a computer, usually a large number of computers. These computers produce botnets (Bot Networks). Malicious bots have been defined as self propagating malware capable of infecting its host and connecting back to the central server. Besides the ability of self propagation, Bots can also relay spams, launch DoS attacks, gather passwords, obtain financial information and passwords and also exploit back doors opened by worms and viruses.
With new strains of malware being released at a rapid rate, computer users are seeking high and low for the best protection. Considering this prevention is always considered to be the best medicine regarding bots and all other malware. Hence, stay up to date with your software, fully utilize anti-malware techniques and never open or download any suspicious file.