The answer to the question “What Is A Malware Virus” a bit complicated. The term Malware is used to describe a number of malicious software threats. The definition of Malware is basically any software that is designed with the sole purpose of causing harm and or damage to a client, server, computer or computer network and to gain unauthorized access.
There are many types of Malware threats such as worms, spyware, computer viruses, adware, Trojan horses and ransomware also known as scareware. While a computer virus is a type of malware, not all malware are viruses. Malware or virus have been around since the ’70s, one of the first computer viruses emerged the “Creeper” virus and we have been under attack ever since.
What Is Malware/Virus?
Since we have already discussed and now have a basic understanding of the term Malware lets take a look at the types of viruses and how they work and what they do to our computer and or computer networks.
- Virus – This is probably the most common type of Malware. A virus attacks the malicious code that it contains to clean code. Once, the unsuspecting user executes the file. The virus, like the flu, starts to spread very quickly in most cases which in turn causes damage to the computer’s core functionality. It can corrupt files and could lock users out of their computers. This type of Malware is commonly found in EXE ( executable files).
- Worms – Are aptly named from the way they infect your devices and network. The worm will start from one infected device and “worm” its way through the device. They will connect to any other devices on the network infecting all other devices, your whole network system can be infected in a short period of time.
- Spyware – As the name suggests is designed to spy on the user and what they may be doing on their computer. This type of Malware usually runs in the background and is used to steal data and or information without the users’ knowledge. Some data and information targeted are passwords, credit card details, names, and any other sensitive information.
- Trojans – This type of Malware like the Greek soldiers who hid in wooden horses to attack, hides in or disguises itself as real software. It then creates a backdoor that allows access for Cyber-Criminals or other malicious Malware attacks.
- Ransomware – This type of Malware is also known as Scareware. It is used to lock down entire computer networks and lockout computer users until a ransom is paid. Ransomware attacks have been made against some of the largest companies and organizations around the world. These attacks can be quite expensive.
These are just some of the different Malware threats you might encounter, and once they infect your device they can corrupt files, and possibly destroy your device beyond repair. While Malware attacks are not the only danger you may encounter when online browsing the web, you may also come across
- Phishing scam and spam
- Hacking and Identity theft
- Surveillance and Data theft
How Does Malware Spread?
Each of the different types of malware has its own unique way causing harm and damage most Malware is spread by user actions. Some Malware is attached to and delivered through email in the form of an executable (EXE) file or a link, when the user opens the EXE file or clicks on the link the Malware infects your computer/device.
Many other types of Malware are delivered via social media or instant messaging, etc. This also, in turn, makes your mobile devices vulnerable to these Malware threats and attacks.
There are actually two areas of protection you should consider when thinking about Malware protection and prevention. The first is the easiest to implement, this being the use of a reputable Anti-Malware software program. There are many reputable companies that provide top-notch protection.
Once installed on your computer/devices you can set up the software to auto up-date, automatically run computer/device Malware scans to remove and or delete any Malware threats the software may find.
The second consideration is a bit trickier because it directly involves you, the user. Most Malware is spread by us the users, we fall victim to these malware threats and attacks. Some of these threats as we mentioned earlier are attached to and sent by email that may present itself as originating from a legitimate source such as your bank, etc. wanting by us to open the attachment or click on a link, and when we do bang, it starts whatever it has been designed to do.
In order to protect ourselves from the temptation of opening these types of Malware threats, we have to educate ourselves about the grave risks that Malware threats and attacks pose. We have to learn how to identify possible malware threats hidden in these types of messages.
Some Things To Look Out For
As earlier mentioned we have to learn how to identify possible malware threats and attacks so we will at some steps to identify possible malicious emails.
- Check that the name and address of the sender are correct. You can click on the senders’ address at top of the email, does it look real? if unsure do a google search of the address to ensure the authenticity of the address
- Make sure the sender knows you, emails from legitimate sources will know your name and will address you in that manner. An email that appears to be from your bank will address you using your full name, not “Dear Customer”
- Look out for weird-looking URLs. Does the URL match the destination site? Has the URL been shortened by a link shortening service? To check the URL hover over the link with your mouse, do not click, does the URL match the company or service that is sending to you?
- Make sure the grammar and spelling are correct. Are the senders native language English ( or your native language)? or does it appear the text has been translated?
- Make sure the content is believable, remember the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t” Random strangers are not leaving, giving, you large amounts of money. These types of emails are very easy to spot, most of the time they offer great rewards for a small investment. Under no circumstances should you ever give your name, address or any other personal information
Well, I think it is safe to say we now know “What Is A Malware Virus?” Viruses and Malware are virtually the same. The term Malware is the newer more modern description of malicious software with the sole purpose of causing harm and damage to our networks, devices and computer systems. The damage from such Malware can and does in many cases cause irreparable damage. With the use of a reputable Anti-Malware program and common sense, we can protect and prevent most Malware threats and attacks. Remember if you have any doubts simply delete!!!
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions or just want to leave a comment please do so below
Stay secure and always practice
Safe Text !!!