Viruses, worms, Trojans, and bots are all part of a class of software called malware. Malware or malicious code (malcode) is short for malicious software. It is code or software that is specifically designed to damage, disrupt, steal, or in general inflict some other “bad” or illegitimate action on data, hosts, or networks and many types of malware operate without alerting you of their presence.
Damage from malware varies from causing minor irritation (such as browser popup ads), to stealing confidential information or money, destroying data, and compromising and/or entirely disabling systems and networks.
Classes of Malicious Software
Two of the most common types of malware are viruses and worms. These types of programs are able to self-replicate and can spread copies of themselves, which might even be modified copies. To be classified as a virus or worm, malware must have the ability to propagate.
Some of the more commonly known types of malware are viruses, worms, Trojans, bots, back doors, spyware, and adware. Malware cannot damage the physical hardware of systems and network equipment, but it can damage the data and software residing on the equipment. Malware should also not be confused with defective software, which is intended for legitimate purposes but has errors or bugs.
Who is creating it, and why? – A Criminal Enterprise
The days when most malware was created by teenage pranksters are long gone. Malware today is largely designed by and for professional criminals. These criminals may employ a variety of sophisticated tactics.
Cybercriminals pose to heavy computer users is stealing online banking information such as banking and credit card accounts and passwords. The criminal hackers who steal this information may then use it to drain your account or run up fraudulent credit card bills in your name.
Criminals are becoming more organized by employing teams of developers that create more sophisticated malware that produces larger monetary gains, states an IBM report. Cyber-criminals have stolen hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars. Over two years, for example, the Carbanak malware infiltrated as many as 100 financial institutions to steal an estimated $1 billion.
How to Protect your Systems from Malware
- A robust antivirus software package is the primary component of technological defenses that every personal and business computer system should have.
- Good antivirus protection can also recognize — and warn against — even previously unknown malware threats, based on technical features.
- Malware protection needs to be usable. Effective antivirus software must be simple to download and install, so you don’t need to be a Ph.D. in computer science in order to use it.
- Robust malware protection specifically guards your finances. These tools safeguard your account information, and can also provide password-management tools so that frustration over forgotten passwords does not lead you to skip over this essential component of protection.
No protection is absolute. But a combination of personal awareness and well-designed protective tools will make your computer as safe as it can be.
The Security team at Anglo African will be pleased to assist you in reviewing some or all of your processes that you currently have or the challenges that you might be facing. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 2331636