Malware is any type of software purposely created to harm a computer, server, user, or computer network. There are a wide range of malware types available, including worms, Trojan horses, malware-enabled email attachments, worms, spam, ransomware, adware, rogue programs, wiper, and encryption programs, and more. These can be delivered by email attachment, downloaded files, game files, streaming media, web pages, and others. Because there are so many different sources of malware, it is important to have IT support that can detect and eliminate Malware threats as they are discovered.
Malware can cause serious damage to computers and can cause serious financial loss.
It is often associated with unauthorized access, data theft, system crashes, buffer overages, application termination, system text corruption, privacy issues, and reduced productivity. Malicious software programs typically copy confidential personal data and send them to the cybercriminals. When Malware begins to infect a system, the result is typically the disabling of security safeguards, registry corruption, data overwriting, application termination, and data theft. In some cases, Malware has been known to redirect networks to fraudulent websites in order to capture personal and financial data.
Unlike typical viruses, malware infections do not have an internal coding or functionality that allows them to self-replicate. Instead, they are spread through the manipulation of computer applications and files that accidentally install the viruses directly into the system. Malware behaves similarly to viruses; however, unlike viruses that modify data on a host computer, Malware corrupts files on the infected host without the users’ consent.
In order to properly remove malware, it is important to understand the various types of Malware and their typical characteristics.
The three most common forms of Malware are Computerized Security Gateways (CSG), Botox Style Malware (BST), and Hidden Spyware. Computerized security gateways are computer applications that are programmed to automatically download updates, security patches, and perform other functions on your computers without your knowledge. Commonly referred to as “jailbars,” these malicious programs make surfing anonymously more difficult and/or less secure. CSG malware corrupts Windows security files and may block access to Windows Update, Windows diagnostic tools, Internet explorer, and other security related programs.
Botox-style malware, sometimes called “Tinkerbot” or “Spywarekit,” is a type of Computerized malware that enables external parties to remotely control the actions of a particular Windows-based device. These remote control devices have the ability to detect specific information on a computer and then send this information back to the attacker. For example, if a user were to download a piece of software but did not realize that the program contains harmful code that could harm their device, the Botox-Style malware could be installed in the background. Once the software is installed, it could continuously send information back to the attacker.
Hidden spyware is another type of Malware that is installed on a PC or other remotely accessed device. Unlike Botox, malicious software does not need to be programmed in order to function; it can simply be downloaded from the Internet, installed on a device, and run without being detected by any anti-virus program or other protective measures. This type of Malware is often installed on computers where users regularly use online banking services. This type of Malware can collect and transfer sensitive information from a computer such as account numbers, passwords, and other important information. Because hidden spyware cannot be readily detected, it often poses little threat to the user who unknowingly installs it on their system.
Other types of Malware that may contain annoying pop-ups or other symptoms may also be classified as “worms.” A worm infects a computer without permission from the user. For example, a person may install a worm onto their computer that continually sends them pop-ups that are advertisements for pornography sites. In some cases, these Worms can also install additional malicious functions that are more serious. For example, a Worm that installs additional spam bots could leave the user’s computer vulnerable to security risks.
A number of computer viruses are classified as “malware” (malicious software). These include: Trojan horses (malicious software that steals confidential information), Backdoors, Worms, and Web bugs.
- Many viruses can cause more damage than just stealing personal information.
- They can deny a user access to their own system, damage their computer, or even steal information for online usage.
- If you believe your computer may have been infected with a Malware device, it is important to get an expert’s advice before downloading or updating any application.