How Much Do You Really Know About Malware?

What is malware?
Malware (a.k.a. malicious software) was created by cyber-attackers looking to acquire access or cause damage to a computer or network, without the victim knowing anything has gone wrong on their device.

What is a computer virus?
A computer virus is a software or code that can to copy itself onto computers and corrupt or destroy your data. Different from Malware that can provide attackers with data rather than just destroying it.

What is trojan malware?
Like the Trojan horse in history books trojan malware disguises itself as a tool and tricks users into installing it so it can corrupt and steal your data.

What is a computer worm?
A worm can spread itself from system to system via software and operating system vulnerabilities, as well as emails when a worm gains access to address books.

What is spyware?
Spyware software watches your web browsing history, apps used, or messages sent on a PC or other devices. Spyware can be dropped onto your device unknowingly by simply downloading a toolbar on the internet. Some people purposefully buy spyware to monitor teens, spouses or employees.

What is ransomware?
Most malware looks to remain hidden whereas ransomware often comes in the form of a phishing scam with a link that can quickly corrupt your device. Ransom can lock a user out or hold on to encrypted files until paid their ransom in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

What is wiper malware?
Wiper malware does exactly what you may assume, it wipes out all of the data that is on your computer or network. Recent wiper attacks have come from StoneDrill, Petya and Mamba (also makes hard driver unusable).

What is adware?
Adware attacks their victims by pushing advertisements onto the screen that you can only get rid of by clicking through them. This type of malware doesn’t necessarily steal your data but can annoy the user. Attackers are able to make money off of this type of malware through every click.

What is a botnet?
A botnet (a.k.a. robot network) is cybercriminals using malware to hijack anywhere from a few to millions of machines at a time. All of these machines can operate from one cybercriminal attacker. Most commonly botnets are seen as spam email attachment campaigns that can attempt to steal data from your computer.

How is malware delivered?
Malware can be delivered by using an external device, typically a USB or Flash drive. Cybercriminals will leave USB sticks around targeted companies in the hopes that someone picks one up and plug into their computer. A more common way of delivering malware is phishing emails. Some types of phishing emails to be aware of are attachments from unknown senders, messages claiming you have won a contest or need to check your online bank account, etc.…

How do you protect against malware?
Some of the easy ways to make sure that your device is protected is to be sure that your software and operating system is patched and up to date. Far too often delays in patching has created problems for companies that have led to cyber-attacks on their network. It is also important that you have some sort of security software for your computers to detect and protect devices against viruses. Being aware and teaching others about how to detect and protect yourself from cyber-attacks is also very important.