How does Malware infect your computer
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What is Malware Virus , and How does Malware infect your computer? Lets begin with a definition. The term malware is a short phrase for  ( “malicious software”) created by teams of hackers: usually, just looking to make money. In most cases after coming up with a virus software, a team of hackers develop an Antivirus and income is generated by spreading that malware themselves on the market and around the web and directly selling it to the highest bidders on the Dark Web.

Malware is simply a piece of vicious software written with the intent of either exploiting the users devices of cause severe damage of devices. Phones, laptops, computer etc do not escape been victims of these attacks, mostly devices which get connected to the internet. Other types of worm designed mainly for the purpose of stealing data, and generally causing a mess. These include Viruses, Trojans, spyware, and ransomware are among the different kinds of malware.

How Malware Virus gets on your computer and mobile device? 

The most common ways that malware can find its way on a computer through Emails and other ways dealt with later in the post. Sometimes the same Malware is used by Tech specialists in doing Reverse engineering: an obvious approach to completely reverse engineer a piece of malware. This obviously takes a great amount of time, so for the specialists and other approaches are more practical of newly developed programs or mobile apps. This happens since malware is intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network.

What does malware do?

Let’s look at the functions of Malware. Well, its a very broad category, mainly specified to what functions carried out and how malware works changes from software and file to file.

What does malware do?
Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Below is a list of the most common types of malware; that can attack and infect most Computers and other devices.

Spyware: Just like the name suggests, designed to spy on data and sensitive information mostly accessed. It mostly hides in the background and takes notes on what one does online. It can attach itself to the browser or Computer, while spying on user passwords, Bank account details, including credit card numbers, surfing habits, and more.

Worms: This type of Malware called Worms can infect entire networks of devices, either local or across Home internet. They use a built in network interfaces. It a network that uses each part and a loop consecutively infected machine to infect others.

Virus: The most common Malware. Just like its biological namesakes, viruses attach themselves to clean files and running software on Computers and device to infect the functionalities of clean files. They can spread uncontrollably just like the way Human viruses infect human cells, but these actually cause damage to a system’s core functionality and deleting all personal files. They usually appear as an executable file mostly known as the (.exe).

Trojans: A very sophisticated Malware software hidden in legitimate software that has been tampered with. This kind of malware disguises itself as legitimate software, acting discreetly and creates back-doors in device security to let other malware come in and cause vulnerabilities to a device.

Botnets: Botnets are networks of infected computers that are made to work together under the control of an attacker. A botnet is a group of computers connected in a coordinated fashion for malicious purposes. Each computer in a botnet is called a bot. 

Adware: Adware automatically generates and displays online advertisements in the user interface of the software or on a screen that pops up in the user’s face during the installation process. And that’s when one starts seeing dubious miracle weight loss programs, offers for get-rich-quick secrets, and bogus virus warnings that invite you to click. Though not always malicious in nature, aggressive advertising software can undermine mostly the security just to serve you ads — which can give other malware an easy way in.

Ransomware: A type of malicious software, or malware, typically spreads through phishing emails or by unknowingly visiting an infected website. This kind of malware typically locks down a computer and important files, and threatens to erase everything unless one pays a ransom.

How can Malware Virus get in your Computer?

Each type of malware has its own unique way of causing havoc, and most rely on user action of some kind. This is more reason you should avoid clicking on junk emails without a reliable source because Some strains are delivered over email via a link or what is known as an executable file.

Malware sometimes typically delivered over a network, that infects, explores, steals or conducts virtually any behavior an attacker wants. Others are delivered through instant messaging or social media. Most devices and mobile phones are vulnerable to these attacks. It is essential that we stay are aware of all vulnerabilities so you can they can lay down an effective line of defense for a devices either at work or home.

How can Malware get in your Computer?

Malware can get in through a number of ways, and most of them happen when you’re connected to the Internet and when you visit websites which may host malware, without the ability to identify malware, you end up downloading it. Malware has a variety of types and that also applies in-terms of its capabilities, which usually has one of the following objectives:

  • Providing remote control for an attacker to use an infected machine and exploit the end-users data.
  • To Send spam from the infected machine to unsuspecting targets remotely.
  • To Investigate the internet connectivity which is mostly used for data transfer or user’s local network.
  • Remotely Steal sensitive data.

1. Infected removable external drives

One of the most common way is through removable external drives.Many worms spread by infecting removable drives such as USB flash drives or external hard drives which you use to transfer data from one computer to another or during a fresh install of an installed operating system or booting.

Booting an Operating system on a Mac or Windows PC from a DVD or CDdrive, is now a thing of the past.

The malware can be automatically installed when you connect the infected drive to a PC. Other malware spread by infecting PCs connected to the same network.

2. Spam Emails

The use of spam has been growing since the early 1990s and is a problem faced by most email users. Malware authors often use tricks to try to convince you to download malicious files. Email spam, also known as junk email, is unsolicited bulk messages sent through email. This can be an email with a file attached that tells you you have won 1 million dollars click accept to claim it.

Spam Emails : Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

And by so doing you might end up installing malware on the PC or giving access of private data to the hackers. A false Spam email always has a fake address sometimes and a bad spelling and grammar, mostly ends up in spam email folders and come from an email address you’ve never seen before. Sometimes these emails can however, look like they come from a legitimate business or someone you know.

2. Compromised Websites

Visiting a website controlled by hackers might be malicious trap to infect your computer with malware and viruses. This website could be a legitimate website that has been compromised, specifically designed to exploit data or was hacked and infected. Software vulnerabilities can also be utilized by Malware to infect any PC or mobile device. Any vulnerability can give malware access to that PC, which is why it mostly recommended to always update any application or computer regularly. Visiting website an infected Website can can try use those vulnerabilities on that computer, Laptop or mobile device to infect it with malware.

Compromised  Websites

These can be websites, that have been created specifically for web attacks, drive-by downloads from exploited web browsers or email clients, clicking on an ad that installs malware onto any computer, or pharming, where cybercriminals slyly re-direct traffic from a legitimate site to a malicious one.

Following up on latest updates help to fixing vulnerabilities by the company that made the software. For example Apple security updates enable people to learn how to update the iOS software on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in form of updates and versions. Computer software always needs to stay up-to date you could also get repeated alerts about the same threat and available updates. You can check online for websites like Securi Sitecheck, to scan viruses and Malware before visiting a Website, also be sure to update that windows software or app always.

3. Bundled with other software

Some programs are designed to install other software that Microsoft detects as potentially unwanted software for a device. software you download can include more than you bargain for. Spyware or other types of malware could come bundled with something you download. Do you mostly download free apps for any device, files or programs? Do you trust the publisher of each software or app? .

Note Malware can be installed at the same time as other programs that you download and when you install the software and malware begins to function as well. Programs used to generate software keys (keygens) often install malware at the same time, this includes software you can download from unreliable sources on the web and third-party websites and files shared via torrents.

Usually you can opt out and not install this extra software by clearing a check box during the installation. Malware Virus can include programs that show you extra ads as you browse the web. Microsoft windows has a built in security feature, which finds malware on more than half of PCs with keygens installed and mostly prompts to ask if you wish to install the software from an unknown publisher. Avoid downloading and accepting software to run on any Computer without fully understanding what you are installing.

4. Human error: 

Ignoring security software warnings about a link, media attachment, file or program and clicking anyway might give way for a Malware. Human error could be when you click a malicious website link, downloading a suspicious email attachment, clicking on an ad that looks legitimate, or other similar types of mistakes in which you click on something that leads to malware. Embarrassing hacked emails in 2016 showed the Democratic Party efforts to undermine Hillary Clinton. Use Anti virus for protection,others have an ability to monitor a network traffic for malware. Others and an AI (Artificial Intelligence) installed with the behavioral protection layer, to watch programs and identify any signs of bad behaviors common in malware software.

A Laptop Keyboard

How to stay protected against malware: If you aren’t sure who sent you the email,or maybe an app or software looks suspicious don’t open it. Some Spam emails will ask and prompt you to enter correct details, don’t click on the link in the email you aren’t sure its coming from. Don’t open and install a Software from a third party website or torrents unless you trust the developer and website. Have you been noticing an attachment to your email that you weren’t expecting, before taking any action, please be sure that was sent by someone you don’t know. Now that you understand a little more about What is Malware Virus, how it infects your computer and the different varieties of Malware it comes in, let’s talk about protection. We already did an article on How to Prevent Malware attacks and infections on your device.

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