Major Malware Types You Should Be Wary of

IT services companiesIn 2015, CNN has reported that there are almost a million types of malware released on a daily basis. In fact, more than 317 million types of new malware were released in the year 2014 alone. As such, IT services companies in Dubai warn people to be more cautious and vigilant when browsing online. Avoid clicking or accessing dubious websites, downloading files, or providing important personal information to websites that you do not think can be trusted.

To avoid these scenarios, it is also advisable to familiarize yourself with the common types of malware so you can arm yourself and your computer devices against them. It is also best to consult with a reputable IT company to know which security program is best for your network. If you do not know one, you can visit and find a trusted IT services provider.

What is malware?

Malware is the shortened form of malicious software. It pertains to any software or computer program specifically engineered to tamper with the functions of your computer, or worse, steal your personal data and bypass the access controls of your device. It is an umbrella term for a variety of malicious programs that include adware, bots, and spyware, as well as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.

  • Adware – These are advertising-supported software programs that automatically flash advertisements. Adware includes pop-up advertisements that appear when you visit a website, or those that are flashed by a software offering “free” trial versions. Though most adware is designed to advertise and generate revenue, some come with spyware, which monitors user activity and steals personal information without the user’s knowledge.
  • Bug – Bugs are usually flaws in software programs that are typically caused by human error. It can usually be found in the source code of a program. Minor bugs only pose a slight risk to a program’s behaviour, while more noteworthy ones can cause a program or a computer to crash or freeze. The worst type is a security bug, which can allow cyber attackers to override computer security, access, and user authentication, and consequently steal private data.
  • Ransomware – As the name implies, this type of malware interferes with a computer system until the user pays a ransom money. It can prevent the user from accessing the computer through encrypting the files, or flashing messages that require the user to pay up before access to the computer is restored or restrictions are removed.
  • Spyware – Spyware spies on a user’s activity without their consent or knowledge. It involves monitoring the activity, recording keystrokes, and harvesting data such as account information, log-ins, and financial information. Spyware can also modify your security and browser settings, or obstruct with your network connection. It usually gains access to computers by taking advantage of a software’s weakness, or attaching itself to legitimate software programs, or with Trojan horses.
  • Trojan horse – A Trojan horse camouflages itself as a regular file or program to dupe a user into downloading and installing it. Trojans can grant a third-party with remote access to the host computer, which allows the attacker to access confidential data, send electronic money, install more malware, tamper with documents, track user activity, and even hide the attacker’s online activity using the infected computer.
  • Virus – A virus can reproduce itself and spread to other computers and devices by latching on to other programs. Viruses run a code when a user opens an infected program, thereby infecting the host computer and other connected units. It can also spread via documents, script files, and web applications. Viruses pose a significant threat because, like other malware types, they can be used to acquire information, interfere with host computers and networks, steal financial data, and more.
  • Worm – This is the most common type of malware. It infects computer networks by playing on the system’s weaknesses. Worms harm computers by consuming bandwidth and overloading data and web servers. Worse, these can come with “payloads,” which are codes that are engineered to pilfer data and delete files, among other malicious activities. Worms can be considered as a type of virus. However, unlike a virus, it can self reproduce without relying on human activity. One of the usual ways worms spread is through mass e-mails that contain infected attachments.