what is Malware ? And How to Stay Protected from Malware Attacks?

Definition of Malware

Malware or malicious software, that is programmed to cause damage to a computer system, network, and hardware device. It is computer code designed to disrupt, disable or take control of your computer system. It comes in many forms, usually hidden in another file or disguised as a harmless app.

Hostile, intrusive, and intentionally nasty, malware seeks to invade, damage, or disable computers, computer systems, networks, tablets, and mobile devices, often by taking partial control over a device’s operations. Like the human flu, it interferes with normal functioning.

Types of malware

There are many different variations of malware, they most common Type of Malware attacks is :

  1. Trojans
  2. Adware
  3. Worms
  4. viruses
  5. Fileless malware
  6. Backdoor
  7. Mobile malware
  1. Trojans : It is also called as Trojans Horse. It is a disguises itself as legitimate software with the purpose of tricking you into executing malicious software on your computer. Trojans may hide in games, apps, or even software patches, or they may be embedded in attachments included in phishing emails. Falling for phishing attacks or other social media site attachments or visiting uncertified websites.
  2. Adware : Adware is a tracks and unwanted software that displays advertisements on your screen. Adware collects personal information from you to serve you with more personalized ads. Malicious adware can collect data on you, redirect you to advertising sites, and change your internet browser settings, your default browser and search settings, and your homepage.
  3. Worms : It is Similar to a virus, it is does not modify program. A worm is a replicate itself again and again and spread full copies and segments of itself via network connections, email attachments, and instant messages. Unlike viruses, however, a worm does not require a host program in order to run, self-replicate, and propagate.
  4. viruses : A computer virus is a form of a computer program that replicates itself on execution. They after different computer program s by attaching its own code. A virus infects other programs and can spread to other systems, in addition to performing its own maliciousness. The virus is attached to a file and is executed once the file is launched. The virus will then encrypt, corrupt, delete or move your data and files.
  5. Fileless malware : Unlike traditional malware, which uses executable files to infect devices, fileless malware doesn’t directly impact files or the file system. Instead, this type of malware uses non-file objects like Microsoft Office macros, PowerShell, WMI, and other system tools. A notable example of a fileless malware attack was Operation Cobalt Kitty, in which the Ocean Lotus Group infiltrated several corporations and conducted nearly six months of stealthy operations before being detected.
  6. Backdoor : A backdoor attack is a type of hack that takes advantage of vulnerabilities in computer security systems. These vulnerabilities can be intentional or unintentional, and can be caused by poor design, coding errors, or malware. Backdoor threats are often used to gain unauthorized access to systems or data, or to install malware on systems.
  7. Mobile malware : Mobile malware, as its name suggests is malicious software that specifically targets the operating systems on mobile phones. There are many types of mobile malware variants and different methods of distribution and infection.

Mobile malware is malicious software specifically designed to target mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, with the goal of gaining access to private data. Although mobile malware is not currently as pervasive as malware that attacks traditional workstations, it’s a growing threat because many companies now allow employees to access corporate networks using their personal devices, potentially bringing unknown threats into the environment.

Where does malware come from?

There are some most common sources of malware come from is following are:

a. Malicious websites

b. Torrents

c. Shared networks

Malicious Websites – Some websites may attempt to install malware onto your computer, usually through popups or malicious links.

Torrents – Files shared through Bit Torrents are generally unsafe because you never know what to expect until they’re downloaded.

Shared Networks – A malware-infected computer on the same shared network may spread malware onto your computer.

How to Stay Protected from Malware Attacks

There are various ways to stay Protected from Malware Attacks :

 1.Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software.

Anti-virus and anti-spyware programs scan computer files to identify and remove malware. Be sure to:

  • Keep your security tools updated.
  • Immediately remove detected malware.
  • Audit your files for missing data, errors, and unauthorized additions.

2. Use strong password and secure authentication methods.

They are following these step to help keep accounts safe:

  • Make sure you employ best practices password construction. Strong passwords should be with at least eight characters, including an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, a number and a symbol in each password.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication, such as a PIN or security questions in addition to a password.
  • Use biometric tools like fingerprints, voiceprints, facial recognition and iris scans.
  • Never save passwords on a computer or network. Use a secure password manager if needed.

3. Keep software updated.

No software package is completely safe against malware. However, software vendors regularly provide patches and updates to close whatever new vulnerabilities show up. As a best practice, validate and install all new software patches:

  • Regularly update your operating systems, software tools, browsers and plug-ins.
  • Implement routine maintenance to ensure all software is current and check for signs of malware in log reports.

4. Control access to systems.

There are various type of ways to regulate your networks to protect against data breaches:

  • Install or implement a firewall, intrusion detection system (IDS) and intrusion prevention system (IPS).
  • Never use unfamiliar remote drives or media that was used on a publicly accessible device.
  • Close unused ports and disable unused protocols.
  • Remove inactive user accounts.
  • Carefully read all licensing agreements before installing software.

5.Educate your users:

 While not necessarily part of the security team, every user on your network plays a vital role in protecting the organization from cybercrime. The only way users can fill those shoes is if they are cybersecurity literate. Your users should learn common cyber threats, cybersecurity best practices, important trends, warning signs, and how to report something they find suspicious. By holding regular training sessions that cover these vital topics, you effectively multiply the size of your security force.  

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