Malicious + Software = Malware

We have all have had that one friend who’s computer got infected by a virus so badly that had to wipe off his or her entire computer or  maybe you have received a suspicious  email from someone you don’t have on your contact list, that is malware on the move, so if you are skeptic enough you’ll trash immediately that email.

Most malicious software today don’t resign to just infect machines and consume its resources, they also require machines in order to keep propagating and infect other machines.Malware can make use of several attack tools that we can label them based on their function, the most common ones are Denial of Service Attack (Dos),  Distributed Dos Attack (DDoS), Sniffer and others. The following  are a list of known malware and their :

Exploits: They capitalize on known or undiscovered vulnerabilities (bugs, system weaknesses) in order to carry onto the system other forms of malicious intent.

Rootkit: Installs a new account or steals an existing one, to elevate the security level of that account to the highest degree (can be root on Unix or administrator on Windows) so that the attacker can take full control of the machine.

Trojan Horse: Is a malware that passes through computer defenses by pretending to be useful software.

Bots: Although most of the known bots are harmless (like Cortana, Siri, Q/A bots), bots essentially are programs created to automatically perform and respond with pre-made operations. So they are also capable of sending spam and obtaining personal information from users via “chatbots”.

Randsomeware: Holds a computer captive until some ransom or demand is fulfilled. The machine is literally kidnapped, because the malware restricts its access to the point where it can encrypt files. Ransoms usually demand for money.

A real example of this is the malware known as Cryptolocker. Cryptolocker targeted computers running on windows. It propagated itself via email attachments. Once activated it encrypts certain boot files using RSA public key Cryptography and the malware holds the private key needed to decryption them.

Spyware: Spies users activity without their permission and knowledge. It can be used to exploit vulnerabilities.

Are Virus and Malware just the same ?? What about “worms” ?

Malware is just malicious software by definition , so worms and virus are also malware. While worms are independent programs that reproduce by fully copying themselves from one computer to another, virus on the other hand is a code fragment that copies itself into a larger program, modifying that program. Virus are not independent for that it requires and is dependent upon a host program (unlike worms which are independent), so it only executes when the program starts running.

Just as knowing about germs will keep you away from certain diseases, also knowing from malware and viruses will help you prevent attacks to your computer. For that there are some basic tips anyone can follow in order to lower the chances of catching a malware. (I’ll be doing another post about it).


Reddit Virus Poll


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