What is Malware?
January 17, 2023
Malware, an abbreviation for “malicious software,” refers to any intrusive software created by cybercriminals (also known as “hackers”) to steal data and damage or destroy computers and computer systems. Malware examples include viruses, worms, Trojan viruses, spyware, adware, and ransomware. Recent malware attacks have resulted in massive data leaks.
How can I keep malware out of my network?
Typically, businesses concentrate on preventative tools to prevent breaches. Businesses assume they are safe by securing the perimeter. However, some sophisticated malware will eventually infiltrate your network. As a result, it is critical to deploy technologies that monitor and detect malware that has evaded perimeter defences on a continuous basis. Multiple layers of safeguards, as well as high-level network visibility and intelligence, are required for adequate advanced malware protection.
How do I detect and deal with malware?
Malware will undoubtedly infiltrate your network. Defenses that provide significant visibility and breach detection are required. To remove malware, you must be able to quickly identify malicious actors. This necessitates continuous network scanning. Once the threat has been identified, the malware must be removed from your network. Antivirus software alone is insufficient to protect against advanced cyber threats. Learn how to keep your antivirus strategy up to date.
Malware Types: Malware is an umbrella term for all types of malicious software. Malware examples, malware attack definitions, and malware distribution methods include:
While some forms of adware may be considered legitimate, others gain unauthorised access to computer systems and cause significant disruption to users.
Botnets, short for “robot network,” are networks of infected computers controlled by a single attacking party via command-and-control servers. Botnets are highly adaptable and versatile, with the ability to maintain resilience through redundant servers and the use of infected computers to relay traffic. Botnets are frequently the armies responsible for today’s distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
Cryptojacking is malicious cryptomining (the process of using computing power to verify transactions on a blockchain network and earning cryptocurrency for doing so) that occurs when cybercriminals hack into both business and personal computers, laptops, and mobile devices in order to instal software.
Malvertising is a portmanteau of “malware + advertising” that describes the practise of using online advertising to spread malware. In most cases, malicious code or malware-laden advertisements are injected into legitimate online advertising networks and webpages.
Ransomware is a criminal business model that employs malicious software to encrypt valuable files, data, or information in exchange for a ransom. Victims of ransomware attacks may have their operations severely harmed or completely shut down.
Spyware – Malware that collects information about the infected computer’s usage and sends it back to the attacker. Botnets, adware, backdoor behaviour, keyloggers, data theft, and net-worms are all examples of malware.
Malware Attack Types
- Malware also employs a variety of techniques to spread itself beyond the initial attack vector. Malware attack definitions can include the following:
- Unsuspecting users can open email attachments containing malicious code and thus execute it. If those emails are forwarded, the malware can spread even further within an organisation, compromising the network.
- Malware can spread quickly when users access and download infected files from file servers based on the common Internet file system (SMB/CIFS) and network file system (NFS).
- Malware can replicate itself onto removable media and then onto computer systems and networks using file-sharing software.
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing can introduce malware by sharing seemingly innocuous files such as music or pictures.
- Remotely exploitable vulnerabilities allow a hacker to gain access to systems regardless of their geographic location with little or no involvement from a computer user.