Technology

What is Malware? How They Infect Computer?

MALWARE

Howdy! By now you must have known that the Internet, www or the World Wide Web is a world of unlimited possibilities. You can shop book a trip to a sunny beach, watch movies, listen to music, take care of all your banking and even play online games. The Internet has become an indispensable part of our daily lives both at home and at work and the rapid development of the Internet is further reinforced by the spectacular surge in the number of Internet users who have a high-speed Internet connection via cable. This is resulting in a growing number of people who are continuously online. The Internet is indeed opened up a world of unlimited possibilities but as has also brought a growing number of threats.

Not only the proper use of the Internet is growing the misuse and abuse of the medium is also growing at an alarming rate there are countless malwares that use the latest tricks to force their way into your computer they often get into your PC silently without you even knowing.

What is Malware?

Well, malware is short for Malicious Software. Malicious means intending to do harm. Therefore the intention of malware is a computer program all programs used against the owner of a computer or network malware can be stealthy like a ninja intending to steal information or spy on computer users over a period of time. Regan is one example of malware that does this other malware is designed to sabotage such as Stuxnet while others like cryptolocker force users to pay money so the user can read their files that were encrypted by this piece of malware.

Types of Malware

Malware is a group name for lots of bad software. These being

  • Viruses
  • Worms
  • Trojan horses
  • Spyware

Virus

A virus is not just a bad cold it is also a program written by someone called a virus author who attaches their code to some other computer program or file enabling the virus to spread from one computer to another, leaving infection as it travels almost all viruses are execution above files which means that they can live on your computer but not infect that computer until you run or open the malicious code some viruses can be quite harmless like the music bug virus it simply gets your computer to play a few chords, the i-love-you virus on the other hand was not at all loving in fact it would delete files and then email itself to other people using the contact list of the user whose computer was infected so how do you know if your computer is infected.

How to know if your computer is infected?

Well an infected computer may show one or several of these symptoms

  • An unusual message or image
  • Unusual sound
  • Lack of memory
  • Files missing
  • Files corrupted
  • Programs not opening
  • Your computer system running much slower

Worm

Worm is very similar to a virus. It does not need any help from us. A worm has the ability to copy itself another word is replicate often thousands of times and therefore send itself out to thousands of computers either by email or along network cables or wirelessly. The fact that worms are able to replicate makes them very destructive. A recent worm was the blaster worm which could bury itself into your system and allow malicious users to control your computer

Torjan Horse

It was named after the Trojan horse of mythology. At first glance will appear to be useful software but will actually do damage once installed or run on your computer, those on the receiving end of a Trojan horse are usually tricked into opening a software or files which appears to be legitimate, which in real is not. When a Trojan is activated on your computer the results can vary. Some trojans are designed to be more annoying, for example it can change your desktop background while the others can be malicious, like they can cause serious damage by deleting files and destroying information on your system. Trojans are also known to create a backdoor on your computer that gives malicious users access to your system, possibly allowing confidential or personal information to be compromised. Trojans do not infect other files by reproducing nor do they self-replicate.

Spyware

Spyware is designed in such a way that once it has entered your computer, it monitors your activities as well as collects information from your computer. This information is then sent back to the spyware creator spyware also floods your computer with loads of mostly useless advertisements. The presence of spyware in your computer often affects the processing speed and smooth functioning of your computer but this is mostly a side effect of spywares and not their main purpose. Some spyware programs are capable of deleting certain programs from your computer. They may delete some files or modify certain programs in order to get fully embedded into your system. This may include altering your anti spyware programs that might eventually have helped in dislodging the malicious by way with time.

What can we do to make sure that all this malware does not infect our computer?

  • Make sure that our operating system is up-to-date which is really important if you have a Windows operating system
  • Make sure that your computer has antivirus software and ensure that the download updates are done frequently so that has all the latest fixes for the new viruses, worms and Trojan horses.
  • Also ensure that your antivirus program has the ability to scan emails and files as being downloaded from the internet and that they’re able to run full dickens periodically.

If you do all this then malicious programs won’t get even close to your computer. It’s also a good idea to have installed a firewall. A firewall is a system that prevents unauthorized use and access to your computer.

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Palak Gupta

Palak Gupta of the House of Ravenclaw, first of her name, loves debating, writing and coding. Fast learner. Happy and a little bit of everything different.

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