Computer technology is advancing at a rapid rate and hackers are finding ways to exploit it. However, despite all the recent breakthroughs in computer science, most hackers still rely on old school malware to get what they want. Here are five types of malware that you must be familiar with if you want to keep your devices safe.
Viruses are the most widely known type of malware but they’re not the most common one. In fact, many people carelessly call all malware viruses. The truth is, less than 10% of existing malware are actually computer viruses. Even though they’re not the most common, viruses are the most difficult type of malware to clean out of your computer because they quickly infect other files. These malicious programs are capable of seriously harming your computer, damaging and deleting files, as well as reformatting the hard drive and slowing down your system.
Worms have been around far longer than viruses and they can cause a lot of damage to an infected network. Worms were initially introduced through email and message attachments but they can be spread far more easily nowadays. The reason why worms are so dangerous is because they can spread without any end-user actions required. These malicious attachments can crawl into your network and modify files, harm the system, and use the bandwidth to slow down the network’s performance.
Trojans are malicious malware disguised as legitimate programs. They have become more common than worms but they work completely differently. Namely, Trojans provide malicious instructions to the user who is prompted to execute them. Once the user implements the instructions, the malware starts spreading through the network. For example, Trojans can pop up in the form of fake antivirus programs that alert the user of a virus infection. The fake program encourages the user to follow the instructions to clean up the computer and, once they do so, the malware begins to spread. Trojans have the capability of stealing data and seriously damaging networks.
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts user’s data and asks for a certain amount of money in order to return the files. Ransomware attacks have become more popular in the last couple of years. However, hackers who execute these types of attacks mainly target larger companies and corporations capable of paying large sums of money for their data. It is best to keep an offline backup of all crucial files in order to prevent losing them due to a ransomware attack.
Last but not least, malvertising has become a popular technique that involves placing ads on legitimate websites to trick users into clicking on them. Once you click on an infected ad, it will either take you to an infected website or initiate an unauthorized download. Malvertising can be used to spread various types of malware to harm users’ computers and steal data.
Once you become more familiar with the type of cybersecurity threats on the internet, the next step is to start protecting your network. We highly recommend following the NIST cybersecurity framework to ensure the best protection through the most efficient safety measures.