Malware is short for “Malicious Software” and has been around for a very long time. Way back in the 1980s trojans and other types of malware were distributed on floppy disk to unsuspecting users.
Malware can be used to destroy data, destroy hardware, steal information, create zombies (computers that hackers can control remotely), and other things that you do not want to happen!
There are many types of malware, but I have listed and defined each of the most common types of malware that you will see in the wild.
Which are the most Frequent Kinds of malware?
Adware is unwanted applications designed to throw ads up in your display, most frequently within an internet browser.
Spyware is malware that secretly tracks the computer user’s actions without consent and reports it to the program’s author.
A virus is a malware that attaches to a different application and when implemented –usually unintentionally by the consumer –reproduces itself by changing other computer applications and trapping them with its bits of code.
Worms are a kind of malware very similar for viruses. The difference is that worms are self-replicating. They distribute to other computers within a network and are usually designed to destroy files or wreak havoc in different ways.
Trojans typically represent themselves as something helpful to deceive you. When it is in the system, the attackers supporting the Trojan gain unauthorized access to the computer. From that point, Trojans may be used to steal financial data or install threats such as viruses and ransomware.
Ransomware is a sort of malware that encrypts your documents, then forces you to pay a ransom to get them back. Ransomware has been known as the cyber criminal’s weapon of choice as it requires a quick, rewarding payment from hard-to-trace cryptocurrency. The code supporting ransomware isn’t hard to obtain through internet criminal marketplaces and protecting against it’s quite hard. Typically, it’s also designed to remain hidden from the consumer until an event triggers it. WannaCry Ransomware was one of the most damaging and newsworthy attacks.
A keylogger is a malware that records all of the user’s keystrokes on the keyboard, generally storing the accumulated data and sending it into the attacker, who’s seeking sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, or credit card information.
Malicious Cryptomining allows someone else to use your personal computer to mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Monero. This malware uses the CPU power of your computer to contribute to crypto mining and then sends the coins to the attacker.