Malware is the renowned name in the world of Internet, which has annoyed internet savvy people by manipulating their systems. Many of you may have little knowledge about Malware like its types, severity, tricks, and its protection. Malware can steal your information by exploiting vulnerabilities in OS and browsers. Online criminals are always after people to steal their login credentials, banking information or credit card details. In this article, I have covered the information about malware protection tips and types of malware infections.
Concept Of Malware
The concept of malware covers all these questions and in this article, we are going to get answers on these essential questions. In general term, malware is a destructive program designed by programmers, student hackers, or cyber crook that can harm user’s PC, tablet, MP3 player, or mobile device.
The reason for creating malware might vary from simple experiments to severe internet crime. There are various forms of malware available and you might have heard few names like viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, adware, and zombies.
Computer virus is capable of making their clone and therefore virus authors use stealth method to keep it overlooked. The main object of virus is to spread among various hosts and is very hard to find it. There are two types of viruses like built-in and event driven. Event driven virus will activate itself when they receive any command through internet channel, while Built-in virus works on fixed time feature. Built-in virus silently works and spreads for a long time in the system.
Worms can seek new hosts available on the network and infect them. It is difficult for the virus to infect other computers on the network, but worms can avoid this limitation as they spread infections over a network. If we talk about speed of infection, then worms can infect global systems in a moment, and it is very difficult to detect and control them.
Trojan word is derived from Greek mythology the purpose of Trojan is to hide itself within software. Majority of Trojan is found in harmless game, video, images, and software packages. Cyber crook use combination of virus, worms and Trojans to make victim’s computer infected. Cyber crook develops a Trojan that can deploy virus and worm on PC system, and try to generate a new infection. Such type of virus or worm also called Payload of the Trojan.
Spyware is free from infection technique. However, it spies on user activity and sends the report to hackers. Spyware does not have its own technique but usually spread by Trojans or virus. Once it is installed on the victim’s PC, it silently observes the activity and remains undetected. Spyware can be work as a keylogger and log every keystroke that user types. The main motto of keylogger is to capture the username, password, and other personal information of the user.
Zombies are little different from spyware as they do not collect the information, but sits silently in the system, and waits for the hacker’s order. With zombies, attacker can infect thousands of PC system at once, infected computers send multiple requests to PC network, and overwhelmed it with unwanted traffic. Such type of attack is also called DDoS attack.
Adware (Advertising-supported software) comes out as an unwanted advertisement displaying on the PC screen. The common example of adware is pop-ups that are displayed by advertisement softwares. Adware is a source of revenue generating for advertiser. On the web, there are free software offer such types of in-built adware that track user’s actions and steal their information.
How Malware Can Affect The System?
Attackers apply many tricks to lure users and install malware into the system. The Attackers usually try malicious software, Peer-to-peer file sharing software, or Internet speed booster software. A malware can find a security hole in the browser, and asks the users for particular software to run the specific program. There are many malware offer no “uninstall option” and download malicious code in window registry. There is also a chance of spam email that easily targets the victim with a malicious link contained in the email. When the user system faces malware challenges, the system shows symptoms, including an increase in CPU usage, slow down Internet speed, network connection problem, appearance of unknown files, automatic sending of email, etc.
How Bad Is Malware?
The amount of malware is evolving rapidly and it has manipulated many websites. According to Cisco report, Trojans were the most common malware stood at 64% of all malware types. Out of total malware encounters, there was 22% data theft Trojans that were used in stealing password. Symantec has also said in its report that there were 9 out of 10 unwanted programs caused by Adware, whereas 1.8% of total unwanted programs caused by spyware. Technology related websites were the most infected website and remained on the top with 9.9% of all website categories. The types of information exposed like real name (71.5%), birth date (43.1%), Government ID number (39.5%), home address (37.5%), and medical records (33.6%).
How To Protect Against Malware?
However, attackers try novel techniques to spread malware and steal the information over the web. Users can take proactive steps to secure their systems; following recommendations will help to enhance protection against malware.
Update PC System:
Do not ignore software and application update that frequently pop up on PC screen. Software companies frequently bring update to make software robust. It also helps against potential attacks. Always protect the PC system with latest antivirus and spyware software that monitor ongoing malicious activities on PC system. Many data breaches and identity theft happen due to out dated software applications.
Avoid Third Party Software Installation:
Users are requested to consider an official website for any software download. Avoid third party or unknown website, as it may contain virus, malware that can harm their PC system. Do not click on banner ads or unknown pop ups that entice users to click on them. Such pop ups may advise a user to remove adware or spyware, but these pop ups contain a malicious software that silently install itself once the user clicks on it and monitors user activity.
Do not open unsolicited email attachment:
Spam email or phishing email tries to lure users to click on links or attachments and thereby enter into the PC system. User should have to disable the option of “Automatic open attachment” in email. Always configure antivirus software to scans all emails and attachments. Try to avoid unsolicited emails, especially from unknown people.
Handle carefully P2P File Sharing:
P2P file sharing needs attention as Trojans can download itself silently. Always follow the same precautions as users pursue in email attachment. Avoid downloading files with extensions like .exe, .scr, .lnk, .bat, .vbs, .dll, .bin, and .cmd. Keep antivirus software and firewall updated to protect from malicious files.
Think before you Share:
Attackers use social media to target users therefore, it is necessary to think before users share anything on social media. Attackers can capture login credentials and other personal details from the social media. Do not reveal login details to any other person, and hide personal details on social media profiles.
Take Backup regularly:
Data loss is a common experience of users. Cyber attacks are uncertain; therefore, users have to take a regular backup of their confidential data. Even when users fall victim to Trojan or virus attack, they can easily recover their data from data backup. In organizations, data backup is originally a simple type of a disaster recovery and considered as a part of a disaster recovery plan.
Use Malware Protection Product:
Malware scan is an ideal solution to protect against malware over the website. It regularly scans malware and other malicious code, also alerts users about such malicious activities.
Malware stays hidden in the software, which can infect personal computers to commit crimes like identity theft, phishing, and other frauds. It has become a revenue generating business in the cyber underworld. The above precautions can enhance user’s alertness against potential cyber crime.