February 18, 2022 - Released

Types of Computer Malware

1. Computer Viruses 

Most common virus to be found. If executed, it self-replicates by modifying other computer programs & inserting their own code. If this virus succeeds in replication, then affected areas are then said to be infected.

They are created to make money such that a virus can send a message, personal amusement, ransomware, demonstrate vulnerabilities exist, sabotage and denial of service, or to simply explore cybersecurity issues, artificial life and evolutionary algorithms. 

They cause billions of dollars worth of economic damage by corrupting data,  wasting resources, causing system failure, increasing maintenance costs, logging keystrokes and stealing personal information.

2. Computer Worm

It is a self-replicating malware program whose primary purpose is to infect other computers by duplicating itself while remaining active on infected systems. 

They use computer networks to spread, relying on their vulnerabilities or security failures on the target computer to access it. Most times it causes harm to a network, even if only by consuming bandwidth, which makes it different from viruses which almost always corrupt or modify files on the victim’s computer.  

A ransomware crypto worm spreads without user action by exploiting the Eternal Blue vulnerability. 

Not all worms are created to change systems they pass through, some are made to only spread, even payload-free worms can cause major disruptions. 

3.Trojan Horse

A trojan horse or trojan is a malware which misleads users of its true intent by pretending to be a legitimate program. They are often spread through social engineering, such as phishing. For instance, a user may be tricked into clicking an email attachment disguised to appear genuine. As soon as the user opened the executable file, the trojan get installed on his computer. Most trojans act as a backdoor, giving the attacker unauthorized access to the infected computer. They can give access to personal information such as banking login credentials, internet activity, passwords or personally identifiable information. Trojans do not attempt to inject malicious code into other files or propagate themselves, unlike computer viruses and worms.

4. Ransomware

It is a malware that is designed to deny access to a computer system or data until ransom is paid. It spreads through visiting infected websites, malvertising, phishing emails, or by exploiting vulnerabilities. Often downtime, data leaks, intellectual property theft and data breaches are caused by ransomware attacks. Ransom payment is payable in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which ranges from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

5. Spyware

A Spyware gathers information about a person or organization, many times without their knowledge, & sends that information to the attacker without the victim’s consent. They aim to track and sell users’ internet usage data, capture users’ credit card or bank account information or steal personally identifiable information.

They can install additional software & change the settings on the user’s device. It is usually simple to remove because it is not as nefarious as other types of malware.


About The Author

Francis Burns

Francis Burns is an avid writer from Louisiana. With a Bachelor's in English and a background in journalism, Francis has been writing for a variety of media outlets for the last five years. He specializes in stories about the local culture and loves to fill his work with inspiring words. When not writing, Francis enjoys exploring the outdoors of Louisiana and photographing nature.

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