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What Types of Malware Are There?

Different threats in the cyber world

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Malware’s purpose is to gain access to system files without a user’s permission. Once accessed, malware will steal or damage the files on behalf of a third party. It does this through a variety of means.

Malware is an unfortunate reality in our digitally driven world. For years, computer viruses have cost hundreds of millions in infrastructure damage, compromised security, killed systems, and continue to evolve on a daily basis. The struggle never ends against malware, even as cybersecurity techniques improve. However, there are effective, cost-free ways of protecting against malware, for personal or business. One of said ways is learning and knowing the types of existing malware.

Malware Types

Spyware

One of the oldest malware forms, spyware infects computers and implements unwanted pops or ads on a system. In some cases, they also create links while visiting websites (typically in text). Spyware also steals information from users and sends it to third parties.

Worms

Worms typically target company networks. They attach themselves to files, if possible, and replicate themselves to slow down processes. They spread quickly to cause the most damage to host files.

Ransomware

An extremely dangerous form of malware. Ransomware infects a host and encrypts the operating system or certain files. Said encryption cannot be removed until the ‘ransom’ is paid. Removal is extremely difficult.

Keyloggers

Keyloggers infect computers and record keystrokes, typically to steal login information and sensitive info. They also cause performance problems depending on the severity of the keylogger.

Trojan Horse

The Trojan Horse appears as normal benign software. Once the executable is opened, however, it delivers the viral payload, typically to damage systems and networks. However, it’s also dangerous because a trojan horse can attach itself to non-executable files like media, images, and documents.

Rootkit

Rootkits are secretly installed forms of malware which create “backdoors” (ways to infiltrate a system) allowing them to access a system. Typically they accomplish this by exploiting weaknesses in software.

Virus

A general term for most types of malware, a computer virus is a type of code or executable which seeks to modify software in an unintended way. Anything from system crashes, information theft, permanent damage to OS and more are possible effects of a virus.

As you can see, there’s a wide variety of malware types, each affecting systems in a different way. It’s critical to recognize the “symptoms” in order to effectively remove malware from a network or PC.

Halting malware attacks requires a series of meticulous steps. Learning the malware types, how they infect a system, how to treat them, and how to respond in case of data loss/damage. Doing so prevents continuous intrusions and guarantees the safety of your information.

You can also look into MSP services for assistance. Contact Bytagig for more information.

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