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Understanding different types of Malware

Malicious software — or malware — is talked about when dangerous software is used to access and infect a computer or network without being detected. A lot of people hear terms like viruses, adware, spyware, ransomware, worms, or Trojan horses; these are all different types of malware that can severely damage computers, devices, and networks. Cybersecurity companies like Decypher Technologies are constantly on the lookout to find these malicious codes and put a stop to them before they cause significant damage.

All forms of malware are extremely dangerous once they infiltrate a device, but the way malware functions differ depending on the type. Below is a list of several common types of malware and short definitions of how they work.

Function — Software that replicates itself repeatedly once activated.
Threat — Viruses can corrupt or delete data and overwhelm your system to the point that it becomes unusable.
Location — Comes in emails.

Function — Software that appears as pop-up advertisements up on your screen. Adware works by installing itself quietly onto your devices, hoping you’ll – accidentally or otherwise – click on an ad that it displays to you.
Threat — Can also corrupt your web browser or your operating system and prevent you from getting online.
Location — Found on the web; can appear through potentially unwanted programs.

Function — Software that sneakily clings to your computer’s operating system.
Threat — Collects all kinds of personal or sensitive information and may also capture passwords.
Location — Can come in through terms and conditions you agree to.

Function — Software from crypto-virology that will lock you out of your files.
Threat — It will block you from your files or threaten to release captured data to the internet until you pay a ransom. (There is no guarantee the files will be released back to you even if the ransom is paid).
Location — Usually carried in through a download, an attachment, or a hyperlink in an email.

Function — Software that relies on vulnerabilities in a computer and spreads like a virus.
Threat — They replicate to a point that your systems or network is damaged, and bandwidth consumed.
Location — Found in vulnerable or compromised computer code.

Function — Software that looks legitimate but is activated once its program is clicked.
Threat — Designed to damage your computer in any way — disrupt, steal, infect, or provide remote access to the attacker.
Location — They appear in what looks like normal social media ads or other normal links.

These descriptions only summarize some of the key components of what these malicious software programs can do, but they all carry an equal amount of concern if your computer is affected.

When malware was first created, it was used as pranks and experiments, but now it is always malicious and destructive. Cybersecurity companies like Decypher Technologies use programs such as SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) solutions to detect and combat these dangerous attacks.

Malware is not the only form of dangerous online attack, there is also spoofing, phishing, and other security threats that might be able to penetrate your computer’s basic lines of defense. To prepare for threats before they become a problem, contact us today at 855.808.6920.



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