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Types Of Computer Malware And How To Prevent Them

Many of you may be familiar with a computer virus, but how many of you know about computer malware?

We are going to layout the many types of computer malware and the mode through which they spread.

Not every computer anomaly reported in the news is a virus, although that is how people call it because the virus name has become the most common that people know.

A computer virus is a type of malware itself.

Computer malware has been there since the beginning of the computer itself as far back as 1949.

Security agencies recorded the first known malware in the ’70s.

A virus is a program that can infect other programs by modifying them to include a possible evolved version of itself.’

What’s The Difference Between A Virus And Malware?

Viruses

virus emoji

The computer virus is a type of computer malware that can modify its host in a way that allows it to execute itself as soon as the host file is executed.

Today, it is not easy to find pure computer viruses anymore. Pure computer viruses today make up less than 10% of all computer malware.

However, they are the only type of computer malware that infects other files.

This also makes computer viruses one of the hardest to remove because it executes itself from a legitimate file or program.

Even the best antivirus software out there sometimes has a hard time dealing with viruses.

Due to how hard they are to remove, most antiviruses will quarantine the affected file or delete the whole thing, which means that you will have to install the deleted program again.

Malware

malware emoji

Computer malware existed way before computer viruses were created.

Their existence can be traced back to the days of giant mainframe computers.

They were brought to the notice of people by emails in the 1990s and gave computer security workers a hard as they were fashioned message attachments.

Once a person opens a file containing a worm, the entire computer would all get infected quickly.

One trait of a computer is its ability to self-replicate.

One of the well-known worms was the famously notorious ‘iloveyou’ worm that infected almost every email account in the world and overloaded telephones with text messages.

It was even able to bring TV stations. Worms can spread without the computer having a hand in it, unlike computer viruses.

The SQL Slammer worm used a vulnerability in Microsoft SQL to cause buffer overflows on almost all unpatched SQ: servers connected to the internet.

It did in a record time below 10 minutes, and that record has still not been broken any other worm.

Types Of Computer Malware

Trojan

Computers hackers do not use worms anymore. Their choice of attack is now the Trojan that can parade as an actual computer program while having dangerous codes.

Trojans have existed even much longer than computer viruses. They are, however, much more malicious on current-generation computers than old ones.

For a computer Trojan to work, it has to be executed by the computer user before it can carry out its work or payload, as it the term in the computer savvy circles.

They usually come onto a computer through emails after the user visits infected websites.

One of the most prevalent Trojan is the type that disguises itself as antivirus software.

This will then pop up on your screen while surfing online and claim that your computer has been infected by viruses that need to be clean as soon as possible.

Once the user falls for the trick and clicks on it, the Trojan then executes and takes over the computer. RAT (Remote Access Trojans) are a common type of Trojans that are widely used by cybercriminals.

This type of Trojan allows the creator to control your computer once it has been executed on the computer.

They are designed in such a way that it is difficult to detect them on your computer.

People who usually use these do not even program it themselves, as hundreds of these are sold on the black market. Trojans are also one of the hardest to fight.

Firewalls are sometimes not able to stop them, just like other normal computer defenses.

It is highly recommended that you never try to open any file that pops up to warn you of viruses while surfing the internet.

Hybrids And Exotic

Today, most of the computer malware around is a mixture of Trojans and Worms and sometimes with a virus thrown in the mix.

This malware will typically appear to the computer as a Trojan in disguise.

However, once the computer user executes it, it attacks the system with the other malware’s combination.

The majority of this malware is considered stealth programs. They usually try to temper with the computer’s operating system to enable them to take total control of the whole system to hide from antivirus software that tries to fish them out.

The way to remove This type of malware is to remove the control component.

There are also Bots, which are essentially a Trojan and Worm combined attempt to add their victims to a more extensive malicious network.

Fileless

This kind of malware does not have to use files or programs to spread.

They usually spread using the system memory or stuff such as the registry keys, APIs, and scheduled tasks.

They make up over 50% of all malware that exists today.

A Fileless malware attacks its victim by taking over an existing program and then launches itself as a sub-process.

They are nearly impossible to detect, and even if you notice them, they are harder to stop.

Having good knowledge about Fileless malware is very important for almost everyone, especially if you are thinking of pursuing a career in the computing industry.

Adware

Adware is normally made to expose the computer user to malicious advertising.

It may redirect your browser’s search to different web pages that may look like you are searching for.

The web pages may contain things that are different from what you are searching for as well.

Malvertising

In this case, legitimate ads or their networks are rather used to deliver malware to unsuspecting people.

A cybercriminal will pay for space on a legitimate website to place an advertisement. When a user clicks the ad placed by the cybercriminal, the ad will take them to a malicious site or download and install malware onto the person’s computer.

This malware can sometimes even executive itself without the user doing anything to trigger it.

Spyware

This is mostly used by people who may want to spy on your computer. You can use it to copy the password of victims’ computers to enable them to access it to take confidential material from the computer.

However, spyware usually is easier to remove from your computer, together with adware. They are not as dangerous as the other types of malware mentioned in this article.

How To Remove Malware From Your Computer

Detecting and removing malware from a computer can be a tricky thing to do.

You will not tell if the malware had tempered with the computer system in a way that makes it impossible to know if you have detected the malware.

It takes someone who is very well trained in malware removal, and the general computer works to be able to take care of such a task.

When fighting malware, you may have to back up your data and clean your hard drive before reinstalling the programs again.

Conclusion

So that was all about the different kinds of malware and how they spread on your computer.

We always advise that you will be careful when surfing the net to stay safe from malicious malware. Talking about computers, you can also check out our article on the types of computer printers.

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