Malicious Software Communications

What is Malicious software?

Malicious software, also known as Malware, is a software that take control of your computer and causes havoc in the computer. The amount of damage that malicious software can cause varies from very little damage, to an immense amount of damage. Malware does not usually infect a computer on its own; most malware requires initiation from the user before it can get into the system and do damage. Malicious Software leads to poor performance of a compuer, loss of data, a compromise of private information, reduction in end user efficiency, and unapproved changes to the users computer. In a nutshell, mailcious software intends to destroy, change, or transmit private information from the users computer.

There are miscellaneous ways that malicious software can be delivered into a computer, they include:

  • Tricking the user to give up personal information
  • Through email
  • Through websites
  • Through social networking sites such as facebook or myspace
  • Through chatrooms or instant messaging

Different types of Malicious software:

  • Viruses
  • Worms
  • Trojan Horses
  • Adware
  • Spyware

Viruses are a type of malware that, similar to worms, make a copy of themselves and become part of another program. Viruses spread from one computer to another and some viruses are benign and others can be very destructive. Viruses remain inactive until the user opens the infected file or clicks on it to install it. Viruses are easily transmittable from computer to computer through a network, a disk, sharing files, through infected emails, or clicking on advertisements.

Worms are a type of malware that spread over networks. Like viruses, they replicate functional copies of themselves and trick users into opening or running them. Worms do not require human intervention and can communicate among themselves.

Trojans are another type of malicious software that are named after the wooden horse that the Greeks used to infiltrate Troy. Trojans slip into your computer by hidiing behind the guise of another program. Trojans are malware that allow other malicious software to invade a users computer. Unlike viruses and worms, they do not replicate themselves or infect other files and need user interaction to gain access to a computer. A common way for a trojan to spread is through opening an email attachment or downloading a file and running it from the internet. Trojans are very harmful and destructive pieces of software. Once activated, the trojan can attack the computer in a variety of ways, such as pop-up windows, or changed desktops, deleting files, stealing data, or activating/ spreading other malwares.

Adware is any software application that uses pop ups and advertising banners to get personal information from users. Adware is not very harmful to your computer but is very annoying.

Spyware is similar to Adware in that it also gathers informaiton from a user without the user knowing.

Other types of Mailicious Software include bots and rootkits. These two malwares are the most dangerous of all malicious softwares in that once they are in your computer, they take over the computer and destory it.

How to Prevent against Malicious software

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  • Antivirus Software, such as the well known Norton or McAfee, is useful to protect against malicious software. Every virus has a signature or code, and antivirus programs match that code and get rid of the virus.
  • Firewalls work to close ports which the firewall thinks may be harmful.
  • Adware and Spyware Removal Software are available for protect against those two forms of malware.
  • Spam Filtering is simply filtering emails you receive in your inbox.
  • Other ways to prevent against Malware include updating your operating system, and browser. Always remember to keep you spyware and protections against viruses updated!


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In The News

According to The Washington Post, Apple has revealed that its "virus proof" system has been beaten. Trojan horses are beginnnng to break through Apple security software. Thankfully, Apple has worked efficiently to stop the problem and there has been a dramatic decrease in Trojan breakthroughs on Apple devices since the breakthrough. The article also revealed that Andriod, another huge mobile device company, has seen issues in their security system as well. Applications that turned out to be malicious software were removed from the Google Play application, which allows users to download applications onto their mobile device.
Malware continues to not only be problematic for computers, but problematic for smart phones as well. As we see in the article, Malware proves that it can breakthrough seemingly immune security systems to access users information.

Famous Malicious Software

  • Melissa
  • Love Bug
  • Code Red
  • Bugbear
  • Blaster

For more information on how to protect your computer from malware visit any of the following pages:

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