Malware is any malicious software deliberately created to cause harm to a system, computer, server, user, or network. There are a wide array of different malware types existing, such as computer viruses, worms, Trojans, malware-laden freeware applications, backdoor programs, malware cloaking applications, spyware, and fake antivirus software. Malware often comes in the form of email attachments, video codecs, gaming sites, and peer-to-peer file transfers. Malware can be executed through various methods, including through email attachments with potentially dangerous codes embedded in them, game downloads from P2P (peer-to-peer) networks, and through malicious websites and instant messaging channels. Malware authors also create “rogue” servers that act just like normal servers, spreading their malware throughout the network by hijacking legitimate application servers and commonly used web browsers.
Most Malware infections are categorized into two general categories:
Malicious Software and Fraudulent Software. Malicious software consists of viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and other malicious software. These can include data-capture programs, email viruses, keyloggers, password extractors, rundll errors, and more. On the other hand, fraudulent software is installed with the intention of harming your computer. These might include keyloggers, backdoor tools, DDoS attacks, data speakers, spyware, and more. Fraudulent software downloads can result in huge monetary losses; some examples include unauthorized charges to credit cards, unauthorized purchases of items for online shopping, loss of customer or employee information, and more.
Nowadays, it is very easy for cybercriminals to upload and create Malware to spread their malicious programs on infected computers. Since Malware is capable of downloading and installing into the host system, it can cause serious problems if it spreads out from there. Usually, when a Malware starts spreading, you will experience a wide number of symptoms, which include reduced functionality on your device and emails with strange content. However, there are ways to combat this issue and get your computer Malware free.
Internet Explorer Malware behaves similarly to most common computer viruses. The main differences lie in the fact that IE is programmed to behave differently from most virus infections. Harmful Web sites, malicious advertisements, cookies, and other tracking technologies are programmed into IE. These characteristics make IE susceptible to attack from different sources. These sources include web pages that steal personal information, advertisements from outside networks, and harmful plug-ins for your device.
Some of the leading Malware agents include worms and Trojan horses.
Worms spread by downloading themselves to your device from web pages and then spreading through the open pipes. Once downloaded, they may perform any operation with complete privilege on your PC. Trojans are remote codes that install themselves in your computer, using your username and password to bypass network security and open to all kinds of dangerous programs. They can be spread through email attachments, files you download from the internet, and infected web pages.
Spyware and adware Malware can also spread through downloads and files you download from the Internet. Malware may come as freeware or shareware and may come bundled with other applications. Adware is sometimes referred to as spyware since it functions like a real virus in that it collects sensitive information about your browsing habits. Once the user downloads an adware application, the program copies itself to the system memory where it can perform an extensive amount of damage. In fact, some types of adware are programmed to “spy” on your activity and transmit this information to advertisers who will bombard you with numerous pop-ups and ads for products they are selling.
Spyware can infect your computer from an email attachment, a download, an internet download, or even through an infection that occurs while your operating system is being used. When this happens, your computer becomes infected and will either display a pop-up or show a series of annoying windows that require you to press the “forward” button in order to complete the process of opening the email or file. You can avoid the risk of receiving these pop-up messages by following the precautions outlined in the “Preventing Malware From infecting My Computer” section.
- When a user downloads an application or a file that is from a website that has been compromised, Malware may be disguised as something else in order to make it harder for the user to detect.
- Some Malware applications disguise themselves as Antivirus software or as something else that appears to be working fine when you load the file.
- It is important to note that if you receive a message that there is an infection that your computer is infected with Malware that you should attempt to remove the false application before continuing to run your operating system.