Definition of Malware.
Malware is a phrase we’ve been hearing a lot of lately. We know it’s annoying and not something we want but most people don’t know exactly what it is. Malware is short for Malicious Software and the term is used to describe a lot of threats on the internet, Landscape, Viruses, Trojans, Bots, things that bad guys use to mess up your day. They may be trying to steal resources from your computer or trying to steal from you. They can range from slightly annoying to very harmful.
Today we will talk about:
Different types of Malware.
How we get them?
Learn how we can avoid them?
How to remove Malware from your device?
But first let’s talk about where they come from? Obviously since the term malicious is part of Malware there is some bad guys behind it and these bad guys want their malicious software on your machine often they are referred to as Hackers. But first let’s take a moment to talk about a hacker. Read More About Hackers…
Different Types of Malware
First, not all Malware’s are destructive but it can cause very annoying behavior like generating a bunch of pop-up ads or can cause your computer to run very slowly. These types of programs are not classified as Malware, they are known as Potentially Unwanted Applications or PUA’s which can come bundled in legitimate software programs as a package. These programs can negatively affect a computer and can even introduce other security risks or get you to buy something that you just don’t need.
Then there is Adware this is a software that displays unwanted advertising on a computer or mobile device usually in the form of pop-up ads or they may redirect your browser to a certain website. Well it usually doesn’t cause any direct harm to the user’s device but it can be very annoying. Annoying behavior that can sometimes contain Spyware as well.
Something almost like an Adware is a Browser Hijacker. Hijacking a browser means that malicious software has redirected your computer’s browser to a different website, generally used to display advertising it can be used to generate visits to a certain website or lead you to a malicious website that will download malware on to your computer and that’s where things can go from annoying to awful. And speaking of awful let’s take a look at the real bad guys of the Malware world, these are the ones you really have to watch out for. First let’s take a look at Spyware, this Malware is designed to do exactly what it sounds like, Spy. It hides on your computer and monitors everything you do. They can track web activity, access email and even steal your user name and password.
Next is Ransomware, we have been hearing a lot about this one lately and for good reason, with Ransomware someone can lockup your computer and holding it hostage and forcing you to pay a lot of money just to get your files back. This little guy is the great reason to regularly backup the important things on your computer. And then there is Worms, a computer Worms main objective is to spread as many copies of itself in any way possible from computer to computer. A Worm can replicate itself without any human interaction and it doesn’t need to attach itself to a program in order to cause damage. Worms can modify and delete files and even inject additional Malware on to the computer.
Another form of Malware we have heard before is a Trojan Horse much like the famous one from Roman history. These bits of Malware hide and what looks like a harmless software. Let’s look at a few, a Banking Trojan is a Malware that hides on your machine and gets in the middle of the conversation you’re having with your bank, it can steal the passwords to your bank account, it can make you think that you are talking to your bank and get you to hand over personal information even your pin number, but in the end, it steals your money, they can empty your bank account.
Then we have Backdoor Trojans, these will look to create a backdoor on a user’s computer allowing the attacker to access the machine in order to get control of it, upload stolen data and even download more Malware onto the computer. The downloaded Trojan can get onto your computer and then download any type of information the attacker wants including more Malware and information stealer has one main objective, steal data from the infected computer. Another is a Remote Access Trojan. This Malware is designed to give the attacker the full control over your computer and last Trojan we will talk about DDOS attack, that’s a DDOS attack Trojan. The DDOS stands for Distributed Denial of Service and it’s designed to take down entire network by flooding it with traffic.
Now let’s move from Trojan Horse Malware to Macro Viruses. These are the type of Malware’s that are written specifically to alter Macros which a common command that word processing programs use. Once open, Macros can cause changes in the tax documents such as removing or inserting words, changing the font or even other strange and annoying behaviors. Some Macros can even access email accounts and send out copies of itself to a user’s contacts.
The last group of Malware we will talk about now are Rogueware and Scareware also known as Rogue Security Software. Rogueware is a Malware that says there’s a problem on your computer and offers to solve it if you pay them. Often it will pretend to be an antivirus software popping up on your screen to tell you your machine is full of Malware.
The only Malware on your system is the Rogueware, some of these scammers will pop up on your screen telling you that your computer operating system has errors or is running slowly or it could crash and they offer to fix the problem for a price as well. If you receive a message from a program you are not familiar with, informing you that you have a virus or serious error on your system, it’s a scam. An internet search of the program’s name will usually notify you if it’s Rogueware.
How to Remove Malware from your Computer?
As you can see there’s a lot of ways that attackers are trying to get you. With that said let’s look at something you can do to try and stay away from a Malware attack. First, keep your computer OS and all software up-to-date, there update often include ways to stop the latest Malware. Think twice before you click on a link or download anything this includes email attachments that says that are coming from your friends or companies you do business with.
Don’t trust pop-up windows that ask you to download software for free, remember free is rarely free. Do regular backs up on all the important things on your computer, that doesn’t stop Malware but it does protect what you have should you find yourself a victim of Ransomware. And finally use good security software. Today you need more than just antivirus software, you need security that is on the lookouts for all sorts of attacks.
Obviously, we recommend Norton Security and Norton Security Premium. Norton defends against Viruses, Spywares, Malware’s and all the other we talked about, that will help you to avoid some of the nastiest of Malware. But what if you think you already been infected? Norton can help you there as well, there is some free software you can trust. Norton Power Eraser is a free virus removal tool that can be downloaded from Norton website and run to remove Malware and threats from your computer. You can run this tool to scan for threats even if you don’t have Norton product or any other security product. Norton Power Eraser is easy to download and it scans your computer quickly to detect and remove the most aggressive computer viruses, there you have.
Like we said the goal here is not to scare you but to educate you, Malware is tricky that can do some destructive things but it can also be avoided if you use your head.