Facts & Myths about Malware

Who isn’t aware about the malware attacks nowadays? Some have become the victims of it while others are getting to know about it through news, internet and even from the ones affected. Online security is now one of the priorities for us because we all know hackers and malwares aren’t stopping any time soon. But you may not know everything about malware, who does?

Knowing about malwares and educating yourself is a step for your benefit. You can prepare yourself for crisis, make plans and prevent yourself from malicious malware infections. Taking into consideration the rising rate of cybercrimes it is a really important thing to do. So in this article we will talk about some common facts and myths about malwares.

For those who aren’t much aware about malware should know that malware is a collection of different kinds of malicious softwares like ransomware, virus, trojans, worms, adware etc. They consist of codes that are developed by cyberattackers to cause damage to systems and data of users or to gain unauthorized access to someone’s network. Hackers deliver malware in forms of files or links over mails. In order to execute the malware user has has open the file or link.

Facts about malware:

  1. Malwares are difficult to remove: When malware attacks your device it hides in unexpected places on your system like system files, hidden folders etc. This makes their detection and removal very time consuming and even difficult. Sometimes to get rid of the infection totally you have to reinstall your operating system.
  2. Your privacy is under threat: It is a known fact that malwares are used for gathering personal information and selling it on dark web or use it for blackmailing or committing identity theft. Mostly hackers steal information like your computer’s ID address, identification information, browsing history etc.
  3. Your computer’s security is under threat: Not just the malware infects your computer system but it also makes your computer vulnerable for other viruses. Malwares can also cause difficulties with legitimate software and compromise the security of your computer’s operating system.
  4. Malware can bundle with other software and be installed even without your knowledge: There is much malware that bundles up with other software like a documented malware program includes AOL Instant Messenger bundled with WildTangent. There are other applications too that can bundle up with adware and spyware. Some of the malwares can be installed automatically without even notifying the user.

Myths about malware:

  1. Emails from known senders are safe: It is a myth to blindly trust any mail sent by someone you know. What if their system is infected with some virus? Because of this there is a high chance of receiving infected files and attachments from the mails. If you find anything suspicious about it then just delete it or don’t open it.
  2. If my machine gets infected I’ll be notified: There has been no such concept of receiving notification if any malicious infection attacks your device. The main aim of attackers is to infect your system in such a way that you won’t even know about it so how can you think you’ll be notified about it? Each malware has its own way of working and some of them mostly run undetected.
  3. All known and reputable websites are trustworthy: It is not difficult for hackers to compromise with legit websites these days. All they have to do is use some infected codes on the website and the website is infected. Users usually trust such reputed websites and download files from that and also give their personal information when asked.
  4. Antivirus can stop all the threats: It is a myth because no antivirus can provide 100% security. Of course, any antivirus seller will tell you that their product gives 100% result but it is something they have to do despite knowing that it’s not possible. You can test run your antivirus software to check its efficiency but don’t fall for this 100% security thing, even you know it’s not possible. It is an obvious myth people overlook sometimes.
  5. don’t worry about malware if there isn’t anything important on your machine: Thinking that the only purpose of malware is to steal your personal information and you are safe if your system does not have anything really important, its a myth. Malware can still enter your system and send spam to your contacts. It can also steal your credit card information, bank account details, login details of social media accounts etc. by recording your keystrokes.
  6. Infected machine equals to the hacked machine: It is not necessarily true every time. Just because your system is infected it doesn’t mean attacker is trying to get access into your system. Your system can get infected due to other reasons like visiting infected webpages, installing any malicious app or software from the internet, opening any malicious file or link attached in your mail.

Malware and its Types

It is usually said that viruses and malware have taken over your computer but what does the term “malware” means here? This article will discuss the meaning of malware and in addition to that it will also talk about the types of malware and harms caused by it.

Malware, the term mentioned above can be defined as a software that is designed intentionally for damaging a server, computer network, computer or even a client. It contains many types of malicious software variants such as ransomware, viruses and spyware. In order to gain unauthorized access to a network or to cause large damage to systems and data, cyber attackers have developed codes, I.e. malware. Typically this malware are delivered in the form of links or file over mail. In order to execute the malware, one has to click the link or open the file. there are many software available to clean your PC which helps to optimize your system performance.


Types of Malware

Moving further we can see there are different types of malware that are mentioned below.

  1. Bots: It is seen that bots are usually used for harmless purposes like online contests, video gaming, internet auctions, etc. But it is also seen that bots are now being used for malicious purposes as well. They are software programs that are designed to perform specific functions on their own. A collection of computers used and controlled by third parties, usually knows as Botnets are used for some malicious purposes. Botnets are used as spambots for rendering advertisements on websites, for DoDS attacks, for distributing malware (that are disguised as popular search items on popular websites) and even as web spiders for scraping server data.
  2. Rookit: In order to remotely control or access a computer without being detected by the security programs or users, malicious software, Rookit is designed. Identifying Rookit can be difficult as it hides its presence, and the typical security products are not efficient enough to detect and remove them. If you want to identify a Rookit then it mostly depends on manual methods like signature scanning storage dump analysis and monitoring computer behavior for irregular activities. Rookit can not be identified easily (as mentioned above) and once they enter the computer system the cyber attackers can easily access or control your files, steal the information, alter software, modify the system configurations, control your computer as part of a botnet and even install concealed malware.
  3. Bug: A bug, here is defined as a flaw producing undesired results. They are formed usually because of human error and exist in the compilers or source code of a program. There can be 2 types of bugs that can harm your systems in different ways. The minor ones will harm your system slightly and can persist for a longer time before being identified. But with the major ones, the effects are different, like causing a crash or freezing. One of the most severe bugs in the Security bugs that can allow cyberattackers to bypass user authentication steal data and even override access privileges.
  4. Ransomware: As the name suggests, Ransomware is the type of software that holds a system in captivity in exchange for ransom. This malware works in two ways. It either encrypts files on the hard drive or locks down the system and then display messages for forcing the user to pay ransom to the malware creator. The malware creator must be paid so that they remove the restriction and the user regains access to their computer.
  5. Spyware: Spyware is the type of software that is used for spying on the user activity without their knowledge. It typically includes collecting keystrokes, data harvesting I.e. account information, financial data, login, etc., activity monitoring, and son. Not just this but it has other capabilities as well like modifying security settings of browsers or software, interfering with internet connections, and so on.
  6. Virus: The type of malware has the capability to copy itself and spread to other computers. When a user launches to one of the infected programs viruses attach themselves to different programs and executing code and hence spread to other computers as well. Not just this but these viruses can spread through documents, script files, and even cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in web apps. They can cause damage to your system by stealing data, create botnets, harm host networks and computers, steal money and even more.
  7. Worms: One of the most common types of software is a computer worm that exploits operating system vulnerabilities. By overloading web servers and consuming bandwidths worms harm the host networks. Worms also contain payloads(codes written to perform actions on affected computers) that damage host computers. Computer worms are capable of self-replicate and spread independently by sending mass emails with infected attachments to the users.
  8. Trojan horse: Trojan horse which is also known as Trojan is a kind of malware that can disguise itself as a normal program or file so that it can trick users for downloading and installing malware. It can give the malicious party remote access to the infected computer. Once the malicious party gets access to the infected computer, they can steal the data, modify files, monitor user activity, install malware, anonymize internet activity, etc. 

All of above are types of malware. if you want to prevent from malware and want to secure your data you need to go with PC Security. PC Security is important to protect our personal information/data. It also helps to keep our computer security and its total health by avoiding viruses and malware which would badly affect the system performance.