What is Malware?

What is Malware? Malware, a shortened combination of the words malicious and software, is a term for any application designed with malicious intent, to do harm to data, devices or to people. Most often you hear talk of viruses, Trojans, spyware and the like, all those are just really different kinds of malware.  Malware basically encompasses any threats to your computer safety.

Today there are different types of malware To get an overview of the difference between all these types of threats and the way they work, it makes sense to divide them into groups:

What is Malware? Viruses like their biological namesakes, viruses attach themselves to clean files and infect other clean files. They are defined by their behaviour, designed to spread without the user’s knowledge. A virus infects legitimate software and when this software is used by the computer owner it spreads the virus they can also carry “payloads” – malicious code designed to do damage.

Worms: Worms infect entire networks of devices, either local or across the internet, by using network interfaces. It uses each consecutive infected machine to infect more. They like viruses are defined by their behaviour, also designed to spread without the user’s knowledge by attaching themselves to clean files.

Trojans seek to conceal attacks on computers. This kind of malware disguises itself as legitimate software or is included in legitimate software that has been tampered with. Users, therefore, download them thinking they will get a useful piece of software and instead end up with a malware-infected computer.

Rootkits: Rootkits like trojans are also masked but do not contain damaging software. Rootkit techniques were invented by virus writers to conceal malware, so it could go unnoticed by antivirus detection and removal programs.

Spyware and keyloggers are malware used in malicious attacks like identity theft, phishing, and social engineering – threats designed to steal money from unknowing computer users, businesses and banks. It hides in the background and takes notes on what you do online, including your passwords, credit card numbers, surfing habits and more.

Ransomware: The latest and most current in the line of malware also known as scareware, this kind of malware can lock down your computer and threaten to erase everything — unless a ransom is paid to its owner.

What is Malware? Other types are adware, botnets, malvertising and browser hijacker. Keep an eye on Teledata’s website for more tips on other types of malware.

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