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  • Mithun Ashok
  • May 28, 2019
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What is Malware?

Malware is a broader term for several types of malicious codes created by cybercriminals for preying on online users. Malware is the singly coined word for the words, “Malicious Software”. Today, cyber-attacks have become more common and frequent, targeting small to big organizations. The motive behind the creation of such unlawful programs is to gain illegal access to computing devices, steal personal information, spy without the user intent and much more.

With the rise of malware attacks, it becomes mandatory to know and understand their types, attacking methodologies, detection, and malware removal procedures to stay protected. This article here provides insights on those fronts!


Different Types of Malware:

#Computer Virus

Created to relentlessly self-replicate it infects programs and files. The malicious activities may be targeted at destroying valuable data or causing unrepairable damages.


The name says it all, the software is created to spy on the victim, which is secretly implanted on the computing device by the hacker. The spyware gathers information and sends it to the hacker.


The malicious program is devised to pop-up unwanted advertisements on the victim’s computer without their permission. The pop-ups are uncontrollable and tend to behave erratically. They usually appear numerous times on the screen and it becomes tedious to close them.


In the context of software, a bug is a flaw, which produces an undesired outcome. These flaws are usually the result of human error and typically exist in the source code or compilers of a program. Minor bugs just marginally influence a program's conduct and subsequently, can go for extensive stretches of time before being found. More significant bugs can cause crashing or freezing. Security bugs are the most severe type of bugs and can allow attackers to bypass user authentication, override access privileges, or steal data. Bugs can be prevented with developer education, quality control, and code analysis tools.


Rootkit Virus assists a hacker in remotely accessing or controlling a computing device or network without being exposed. They are hard to detect due to the reason that they become active even before the system’s Operating System is booted up.

#Trojan Horse

The name “Trojan horse” arrives from the ancient Greek tale on the Trojan War. Similar to the story, the malicious program sneaks into the victim’s computer disguised as a legitimate program that users will accept and want to use.


The Worm Virus is a malicious code that copy’s itself and spreads to other computers. The Worm makes use of the network to spread to other devices. An infected network or system may slow down and face unexpected hiccups on the full swing. While a Computer Virus attaches itself to different programs and executable codes, the Worm Virus spreads across the networks. This is the notable difference between the two.


As the name interprets, the ransomware is a ransom malware. The ransom virus blocks the user from accessing the files or programs and the virus removal demands to pay the ransom through certain online payment methods. Once the amount is paid the user can resume using their system.


The Keylogger records every keystroke that a user makes on their device by running in the background. It steals user credentials and confidential data and forwards it to the hacker for malicious purpose.


The cybercriminal blocks user actions and takes full control of the system. The hacker creates a network of malware-infected computers which functions as a bot. The botnet virus is used to transmit malware, send spam emails, and execute other malicious tasks.


The Malware Symptoms

Some of the common signs and symptoms of malware infection are listed below:

  • Slowing down of your computer, programs, and internet connection

  • Frequently, the web browser ceases to work completely

  • The appearance of strange files, programs, or desktop icons

  • Suddenly, your screen is bombarded with popups of unwanted advertisements

  • Unanticipated frequent system or program crashes

  • An unexpected decrease in disk space

  • Web browser’s homepage has been changed

  • Redirection to new websites while trying to access a different website

  • Unusual programs and messages keep appearing

  • Emails/messages being sent automatically and without the user’s knowledge (a friend receives a strange email from you that you did not send)

  • Programs start running automatically

  • The antivirus program is turned off (disabled) automatically

  • Friends complaining of receiving strange and irrelevant messages from your email

  • Blocked access to your own system and a ransom demanded to regain access again


Prevention and Malware Removal

There are several general best practices that organizations and individual users should follow to prevent malware infections. Some malware cases require special prevention and treatment methods, but following these recommendations will greatly increase a user’s protection from a wide range of malware:


  • Install and run anti-malware and firewall software. When selecting software, choose a program that offers tools for detecting, quarantining, and removing multiple types of malware. At the minimum, anti-malware software should protect against viruses, spyware, adware, Trojans, and worms. The combination of anti-malware software and a firewall will ensure that all incoming and existing data gets scanned for malware and that malware can be safely removed once detected.

  • Keep software and operating systems up to date with current vulnerability patches. These patches are often released to patch bugs or other security flaws that could be exploited by attackers.

  • Be vigilant when downloading files, programs, attachments, etc. Downloads that seem strange or are from an unfamiliar source often contain malware.

  • Think Before You Click.


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