Are you aware of malware, and the different options available to protect your system from malware attacks?
Malware, which is the short form of malicious software, is used as a single term to refer to virus, spyware, worm, Trojan, spam, etc. The malware are designed with an intention to cause damage to single or networked computer systems.
Here is a description of the different forms of malware and the methods of securing your system from such malicious programs.
- Different forms of malware
- How malware affect system
- Protection from malware
Different forms of malware
Malware can attack your system in various forms. The most common forms of malicious attacks are Viruses, Worms, Trojan horses, Rootkits, Backdoors, Spam, Spyware, and Botnets. Viruses are malicious programs that come hidden within an existing program, and spread from one system to another by replicating themselves. Worms also self-replicate themselves, but they are designed specifically to spread fast and stealthily. Trojan horse presents itself as harmless application, but once activated it can perform one or more destructive tasks. Rootkit is specialized and dangerous form of malware. Backdoors are hidden bypass to a program’s security zone. Spams are unwanted e-mails that may lead you to websites from where malware can be installed on your system. Spyware are software that send information about your web-browsing habits to an external location. Botnets are used to launch spam e-mail campaigns.
How malware affect system
Different forms of malware can affect the functioning of your system in different ways. A virus can destroy valuable programs and data from your system by generating harmless prank messages and commands. It may activate immediately or lay dormant for years before attacking your system. Worms hurt your system by rapid replication and sucking your system’s memory. Trojans, once activated steal your identity or financial data. They may also make your system vulnerable to future attacks. Rootkits insert their own code into the basic core software operating the system and weaken its loading mechanisms. Backdoors can damage, destroy or steal data. Spams lead you to websites from where viruses, worms, spyware and other malware can be installed to your system. Spyware steal data about your shopping habits, gaming habits, website viewing habits, etc without revealing identities of individual users. This may result into sending you pop-ups ads or ignore user navigation commands. Botnets are used to launch spam e-mail campaigns, viruses or DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on websites for either entertainment or extortion purposes.
Protection from malware
As malware includes multiple threats, numerous methods and technologies are used to safeguard your system. For instance, Firewalls are used to filter out potentially destructive data. Spam filters, spyware blockers, IDSes (Intrusion Detection Systems) and IPSes (Intrusion Prevention Systems) are other popular tools to safeguard your identity and data. Antivirus software are designed to protect systems from viruses, worms and Trojan horses. Antivirus software manufacturers have enhanced their products to provide PC protection from a growing number of malware threats, such as spam and spyware.
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