This article introduces some very basic types of malicious content which may harm your PC in some way or the other..
The computer systems may become a victim of virus, worm, hacking etc types of attacks. The computer systems may crash, sensitive data can be stolen and misused or driver problems may arise in few cases
Who may do it
It is the Hacker: someone who seeks and exploits weaknesses in a computer system or computer network. They are the malicious programmers. They have excellent programming skills and design a bug which gets embedded in the pc and cause it to malfunction.
Types of Infections:
There are many types of infections that may affect a pc performance and functionality. Some of the major infections are:
Virus: Small pieces of software that attach themselves to real programs.
- The term “virus” is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, adware, and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability.
- A true virus can spread from one computer to another (in some form of executable code).
- Viruses can increase their chances of spreading on to other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file system that is accessed by another computer.
- Viruses always mostly corrupt or modify system files on the targeted computer.
Worm: A self-replicating program
- The major difference between a virus and a worm is that worm does not attach itself to other existing program as viruses do .
- Worms spread across networks due to poor security of the infected computers.
- Asthis type of infection runs by itself it can have devastating impacts.
- Worm Viruses Include: lovgate.F, sobig.D ,trile. C
Trojan Horses: Allow the hackers to gain remote access of a target system.
- Once a Trojan horse has been installed on a target computer system, the hacker can access it remotely and perform various operations.
- Trojans can illegally trace important login details of users online
E-Banking is very common among users, therefore, vulnerability of tracing user’s login details, if the system is infected with Trojan Horse
Malware: stands for malicious software
- Malware is a broad term that refers to a variety of malicious programs.
- Software that can be used to compromise computer functions, steal data, bypass access controls, or otherwise cause harm to the host computer.
Adware: Advertisement-supported software
- They are generally spread through download of a software from an untrusted source from Internet
- It is any software package that automatically delivers advertisements
- Common examples of adware include pop-up ads on websites and advertisements that are displayed by software. Often times software and applications offer “free” versions that come bundled with adware.
Spyware: The spy inside your PC
- It is program that is put in someone’s computer to secretly gather information about the user and relay it to advertisers or other interested parties.
- Spyware can get in a computer as a software virus or as a result of installing a new program.
Ransomware holds a computer system, or the data it contains, hostage against its user by demanding a ransom for its restoration.
- It is considered a “scareware” as it forces users to pay a fee (or ransom) by scaring or intimidating them
- Some ransomware encrypts files called “cryptolocker”.
- Ransomware can be downloaded by the unwitty users through some websites. They may also arrive as a payload, either dropped or downloaded by other malware. Some ransomware are delivered as attachments to spammed email.
Shortcut virus: creates shortcut files everywhere in the pc, results in disk space consumption.
RootKit :Activated each time your system boots up.
- Difficult to detect because they are activated before your system’s Operating System has completely booted up.
Email Virus: Virus spread via an email.
- Such a virus hides in an email and the effect is seen when the recipient opens the mail.
- Examples of email virus’s are the Melissa Virus, and the ILOVEYOU virus.
Browser Hijacker :Changes web browser’s home page and default search provider to a different one without user’s permission.
- It infects certain browser functions especially in form of re-directing the user automatically to certain sites.
Browser Hijackers Include sojou.com, ask toolbar, Conduit search
Bots: Sophisticated types of crimeware.
- They are similar to worms and Trojans
- They perform a wide variety of automated tasks on behalf of their master (the cybercriminals) who are often safely located somewhere far across the Internet.
Here are some of the situations that one can use to identify whether the computer system has been affected by malware or not:
- Increased CPU usage
- Slow computer or web browser speeds
- Frequent freezing or crashing
- Appearance of strange files, programs, or desktop icons
- Programs running, turning off, or reconfiguring themselves
- System not booting up
- Emails/messages being sent automatically and without user’s knowledge
How to Be safe
- Always scan the external devices pen drives,CD’s before opening them
- Always scan the attachments which come via mail
- Do not download unknown software from internet
- Make sure Windows Firewall is enabled while accessing Internet
- Use a light weight antivirus software like malware bytes, adwcleaner.
- Don’t use very heavy weight antivirus software as they may cause the CPU slow.
- Call the computer engineer if the problem persists.
- Run a full scan of the system once in a month at least.
- Keep deleting the temporary files over a period of 3 months.
Article By Mudit Maheshwari:
A 3rd year B.Tech IT student from VIT University, Vellore having keen interest in coding , learning about new technology and developing softwares . Besides being passionate about coding, he also loves playing guitar and singing. Currently staying in Chennai. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.