Malwares have their unique and deceptive ways of infecting the targeted computer. This article will tell you about types of malwares.
Malware is a general term, used to define a spectrum of intrusive and damaging software programs, which are intentionally developed to harm the target computer in various possible ways. Malwares may cause transfer of user’s personal information & surfing behaviour, corrupting other applications residing on the computer, disrupting smooth functioning of computer, over-consuming computer resources, complete hack of the system, among many other effects.
The variety of malicious programs which are generally referred as Malwares have their unique and deceptive ways of infecting the targeted computer. The severity of Malwares varies abruptly from one type to another. The various types of Malwares have been elucidated below.
Spywares: As the name suggests, these programs are primarily meant for spying on the target computer. Spywares stealthily record user’s private information such as browsing activity details and even ‘login details’ to visited sites. The most fatal spyware, referred as Banker trojans are particularly developed to steal data related to Online Banking.
Virus: It is a computer program that can multiply itself and cause a mass re-production of the malicious program within no time, consequently infecting the whole computer without getting into knowledge of the user. A computer virus can only spread further if the host file is transferred to other computers.
Worms: A kind of malicious program which actively transmits itself over a network without any user intervention. As it doesn’t require the end user to simulate or execute any software or application, the level of vulnerability becomes much higher in this case.
Trojans: Trojan horses are basically those disguising programs which first appear as a desireable application, but when executed, result into some unintentional activity such as ‘file deletion‘ or ‘virus distribution’. They are known to be the most deceptive Malware type.
Rootkits: It often happens that the user realises some malicious activity and immediately runs Anti-virus scan to clear any possibility of malware invasion. This doesn’t give enough time for the virus to self-replicate to an alarming stage. Rootkits are basically meant to help hackers in such a situation. Rootkits keep the infected user under an illusion that the system has not been compromised. This gives enough time for the malware to perform its activities (replication, file corruption, distribution).
Backdoor: It is a frequently used technique by the hackers, where an alternative pathway for accessing target computer is created to hack or infect the targeted PC. This method bypasses usual authentication for remote access to victim PC.
Cookies: A cookie is simply a small bit of text that gets stored on user’s computer harddisk, mainly for the purpose of identifying the end user to a particular site and whatever information that site wanted to retain about the user when they are visiting. It is NOT at all a malware, but frequently misused to unethically track user’s browsing habits.
There are some of the popular techniques used by unethical hacker groups, which have been described below.
Phishing: It is a deceptive fraudulent technique, that usually propagates through e-mails and involves pretention of some trusted web source, for the ultimate aim of retrieving financial information and other confidential details of the victim. For instance, a user may compromise his access details to Paypal account, by following and trusting a link that was sent to him within an e-mail, claiming to be from Paypal itself.
Zero day attack: When a new malware is created and starts getting distributed over the web, it certainly takes some finite time for the Anti-virus and anti-spam groups to track it down and create a patch for providing downloadable update for the end users. That’s the early stage when there’s no patch available for the malware and the possibility of that harmful script to spread out and cause the damage are maximum. That short and early period of a attacking malware is referred as Zero day Attack.
DoS attack : Denial of Service is an attack, basically aimed to make the computer/server, hosting any web service, unavailable to its intended users. One common methodology of invoking a DOS attack is over-saturating the victim server with unplanned(absurdly high) service requests. It is often referred as DDoS(Distributed Denial of Service) attack as it involves a quantifiable number of end computers to cause such an attack.