Malware is a broad term for any type of harmful software designed to exploit a device, service or network. Hackers generally use malware to extract data that they can then use to exploit victims for financial gain. That data can range from financial data to personal pictures, emails, and healthcare records.
How does malware spread?
Malware can be deployed via multiple attack methods. These include email attachments, malicious ads on websites, bogus software installations, infected USB drives, infected apps, and even text messages.
What kinds of malware are there?
To put it simply there is a lot of malware out there. The main categories of malware are; Viruses, Ransomware, Worms, Spyware, Trojans, and Adware.
A computer virus is a type of malware that, when executed, replicates itself by modifying other computer programs and inserting its own code.
One of the most profitable types of malware for hackers, ransomware installs itself onto the victim’s device, encrypts their files, and then demands a ransom from the victim in order to unlock/decrypt their device.
Spyware is an app installed on a victims device, usually without their explicit knowledge, that captures and transmits personal information to hackers. Spyware enables hackers to view all forms of communications on the victim’s device.
A Trojan is any malware which misleads users of its true intent. The term comes from the Ancient Greek story of the deceptive Trojan Horse that led to the fall of the city of Troy. Trojans disguise themselves as harmless applications, tricking users into downloading and using them. Once installed on a victim’s device, hackers can steal personal data, crash the device, spy on the victim or even use the device to launch attacks against other systems.
Adware is a type of malware that shows unwanted advertisements to users commonly in the form of pop-ups. Adware is often installed by victims in exchange for another service, such as the right to use a program without paying for it.
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