Malware can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Knowing how to recognize the different forms and how they’re presented will help you know how to prevent them from being installed on your computer or what to do if they have been installed.
In the past, when people talked about malware in the news or in conversations with other techies, they mostly talked about a virus. But now, a virus only makes up a small percentage of different types of malware and has been replaced by things like ransomware and other malwares.
There are some good things about this virus. Viruses infect files, which can make them stop working. This can be fixed by deleting the file or making it work again with anti-virus software.
As mentioned above, viruses are no longer the most commonly talked about malware. Now, ransomware is the most talked about malware. This type of malware is often spread through social engineering, which means that it comes in emails with malicious attachments or unofficial websites that offer subscription software or apps for free.
Most free apps have malware that is installed with the app. The malware will look for your files and encrypt them. Then you will get a notice telling you that you need to pay bitcoins to unlock your files. Statistics show that this type of attack is on the rise, with 25% of victims paying bitcoins to regain access to their files. Sadly, some people who pay still do not get their data back even though they paid the fee.
Worms & Trojans
There are now fewer worms these days. But the worm is still very dangerous. The worm comes through email and starts to spread without any help from you or anyone else. It uses up system resources like memory and CPU, so it makes your computer crash, which also crashes all of your e-mail servers and computer networks at the same time.
A worm often arrives and begins to make its way around a computer system before the user knows. The trojan uses a different technique. It presents itself as a legitimate program, but is actually malicious. Once the end user activates it, the trojan tries to inject or install malware that can do bad things like install ransomware or give someone access to your computer system. We have seen an increase in trojans lately, which is why you should be careful what you download from the internet and always read reviews on new programs before installing them on your computer.
Adware and Malvertising
Most people will know what adware is. It redirects you to different websites, search engines or product pages. Other than being an inconvenience, it is usually easy to remove and does not cause any long term damage to files or operating systems. In some cases, the adware is legitimate and installed as part of a genuine download. For example, app providers might provide a free app or piece of software with the idea of generating revenue from the advertising space they sell within their app.
Some ads we see are not what they seem. Not all the ads we see are completely honest. There are some bad ones, and attackers have been known to buy advertising space on popular websites. These ads will look legitimate and might even use similar tracking technology to serve you with appropriate products based on your search history, but they lead to malicious downloads or links that will try to get you to install malware. Usually these downloads take the form of ransomware, cryptomining scripts, or banking trojans.