“Why is my computer taking so long to start?”
“Where are my files? Why does my computer crash so often?
These are some questions that the average user wonders, on a given day. Yes, rapid technological advancements have provided many growth opportunities and increased efficiency for users (businesses of all sizes, individuals).
This technology however has also brought previously unknown threats to the forefront known as malware.
What is Malware?
Short for malicious software, this growing threat is used by cybercriminals and hackers to compromise or ‘hack’ into computer functions to steal important data, bypass security access controls, or cause harm to the host computer—just because they can. This is why businesses must invest in streamlined penetration testing services that can inform of vulnerabilities with the capability to access the application.
It’s a broad term that refers to many different malicious programs. The following malicious programs are the most common:
It’s a standalone program. A worm can easily replicate itself in order to infect other computers. The very first worm of its kind was the Morris worm, which infected computers via the internet on November 2, 1998.
In the beginning, a worm was considered as one type of virus; but now, web application security analysts find there’s one glaring difference between worm and a virus: it doesn’t require a host file to travel to system from system! A worm also infects other computers through email, instant messaging applications, and PSP programs.
Damage They Can Do
Worms have the ability to damage security of an unlimited number of computers by:
- Deleting files on a host system
- Data encryption for a future ransomware attack
- Steal information
- Creation of massive botnets (controlled by hackers)
Even payload-free worms are able to cause serious damage on the security system of a computer by consuming bandwidth and overloading web servers.
Aptly named after the Trojan horse that was used by the ancient Greeks to enter Troy; this type of malware enters into your system disguised as a safe and legitimate program. Users are easily tricked into downloading the program because of its apparent use, but are really inviting cyber-criminals into the system.
Trojan horses come in a wide variety of programs, all designed to damage an infected computer in equally harmful ways.
Damage They Can Do
- Destroy any data
- Monitor user activity
- Download/install other types of malware (to your computer)
- Steal financial information
- Conduct DoS attacks
This type of malware acts just like the term implies. Cybercriminals hold your data captive with the help of ransomware and demand payment for its release. This type of malware usually enters your computer system through redirected ads, Trojan Horse, or exploit kits.
Ransomware features as one of the most common types of malware in cyber crime today. It causes your entire computer system to lock down and/or become inaccessible.
Yes, there is software circulating on the World Wide Web that is specially designed to spy on computer usage and activity without user knowledge. This software however has to be installed first, which users do so unwittingly when they open spam and junk emails. The information collected by the software is then used for target advertising.
Originally designed and used for marketing and advertising purposes, some newer variations of spyware enable hackers to collect personal information. Intrusive actions, such as changing your PC’s configuration settings, can also be carried out.
Your computer system is vulnerable against the many forms of malware out there. In order to protect your computer network from threats, you must first identify them. Web application penetration testing can help with that! Implement Lean Security’s web security scanning to your systems today.