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Mischievous Malware – Part 1

Unfortunately, malware is not a foreign term, in fact it’s pretty well known to anyone that uses a computer. There are several types of mischievous malware, as well as mediums in which you may receive it. So, before you click on that link for the free cruise you won, think about all of the personal data you could be giving away.

First, let’s take a quick tour of the types of malware you may run into.

Viruses

These act very similar to the flu virus. Once it gets into a computer, it propagates by copying itself and becoming part of another program. Then just like the flu at an elementary school, it spreads from computer to computer. However, a virus must be activated, by opening or running the file. Viruses also include worms and trojans.

Spyware

This form of malware works just as its name intends. It is a software that usually piggybacks on legitimate downloads. Once it is in your computer, it spies on the information you key in and sends it to a website. The first sign of spyware usually is a slow computer since it takes up many resources to run.

Adware

We all know this one all too well. Those pesky pop-ups telling you your computer is infected or that you won money. These also piggyback on other applications or downloads, such as free computer wallpaper, widgets or toolbars. Adware is kind of tricky, inherently it isn’t dangerous to your computer, annoying, but not dangerous. However, once clicked on you’ve basically opened the floodgates.

Ransomware

With the popularity of cryptocurrency, ransomware has become more and more abundant. Often, this type of malware won’t damage your computer… right away. Instead it locks it and holds it hostage. The hacker asks for a ransom and will provide a key only if and once the ransom has been paid. If not, the hacker will usually wipe your device of all of its data.

Botware

This is another malware beginning to gain popularity due to the cryptocurrency gold rush. Botware ultimately turns your computer into a zombie by flooding it with denial-of-service attacks. It helps hide anything going on below the surface. A surprising symptom of botware is a higher electric bill. Your computer’s CPU will be running constantly and the fan will run for longer than usual.

Tomorrow, we will look into something that you may not have heard about... Malvertising.

See you tomorrow.

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