Malware A.K.A malicious software is a file,program or a set of code that infects a system over a network and conducts any malicious operation that the attacker wants. Their capabilities may vary depending on the intentions but they mainly have  similar objectives such as:

  • Get remote access to a computer.
  • Target other users and systems from the infected device to further spread it.
  • Investigate the local network of the infected host.
  • Last but not least to steal sensitive data.

And malicious software is something cyber security employees and others should equally be aware of and watch out for because the damage they can do is a lot more than we think. And we won’t be able to discuss everything about this vast topic in a single article so we will be segmenting it and discussing a lot more in the future. So here a couple of malwares every security expert should know:

What are the types of Malwares?

  1. Virus
  2. Worms
  3. Trojans
  4. RATs
  5. Rootkits
  6. Spyware
  7. Botnets
  8. Ransomware

What is a computer VIRUS?

Virus might be what pops up in your mind when you hear the word ‘malware”. Well, they are programs that can replicate themselves and replicate over a computer or network. But there is a catch to it, they can only activate themselves if the user opens the infected program or file. And in the worst case scenario they can corrupt or delete the data on the infected system and use the infected user’s email id to further spread the virus,just like a biological virus which is how it got its name.

What are Worms?

Worms take advantage of the system vulnerabilities and use it to replicate and spread itself across systems and other networks, let’s just say they are viruses on steroids. They do a better job at keeping a low profile and staying unnoticed to a point it replicates itself exponentially and consumes a lot of system resources and network bandwidth.Unlike viruses they do not attach themselves to any programs or files since they use the system vulnerabilities to spread itself.

What are Trojans?

Trojans just like in the mythological story of Greek soldiers hidden inside a wooden horse are malwares in disguise. They pretend to be legit software and make the user install the software. And once installed it will activate itself and perform whatever it was programmed to do. Unlike the ones mentioned above they do not self replicate which means they are not contagious.

What are Remote Access Trojan (RATs)?

Technically not a type of malware but deserves it’s on category. RATs are short for Remote Administration Tool and are typically stealth programs which makes it difficult to detect them. They do not show up in the running processes and they also imitate and behave like legitimate software. And RATs let the attacker whatever they intend to since it gives the attacker administrative level access.

What are Rootkits?

These programs infiltrate into a computer and give toot level privilege to it. They hide within the operating system which makes it difficult to detect them.

What are Spywares?

These are malwares that spy on a user to collect their sensitive data such as login info, passwords and credit card information. Botnets, adware, backdoor behavior, keyloggers, data theft and net-worms are all a type of spyware.

What are Botnets?

Botnet, which is short for “robot network” are networks of infected computers under the control of a single attacker or hacker’s organization. They are highly versatile and adaptable, able to maintain ruse infected computers to relay traffic. Botnets are the reason behind most modern DDoS attacks. And we will be discussing more about these in the future.

What are Ransomware?

These are malwares that infect a system and encrypt the user’s data and ask the user to pay an amount us ransom in order to get their data decrypted and the attackers usually ask the users to pay the amount in cryptocurrency to maintain their anonymity. 

What is Polymorphic malware?

These are malwares that can effortlessly shift it’s surface appearance while retaining the core algorithm. This prevents virus signatures from detecting it.

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