Malware

Malware is any type of harmful program that seeks to damage or gain unauthorised access to your computer system.

Part 1: SiX Types of Malware

Virus

A virus can replicate itself and spread from system to system by attaching itself to infected files.

A virus is only activated when opened by a human.

Once activated, a virus can change data or corrupt a system so that it stops working.

Worm

A worm can replicate itself and spread from system to system by finding weaknesses in software.

A worm does not need an infected file or human interaction to spread.

A worm can spread very quickly across a network once it has infiltrated it.

Trojan

A trojan is a harmful program that looks like legitimate software so users are tricked into installing it.

A trojan secretly gives the attacker backdoor access to the system.

Trojans do not self replicate or infect other files.

Ransomware

Ransomware locks files on a computer system using encryption so that a user can no longer access them.

The attacker demands money from the victim to decrypt (unlock) the data.

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Attackers usually use digital currencies like bitcoin which makes it hard to trace them.

Spyware

Spyware secretly records the activities of a user on a computer.

The main aim of spyware is to record usernames, passwords and credit card information.

All recorded information is secretly passed back to the attacker to use.

Keylogger

A keylogger secretly records the key presses of a user on a computer. Data is stored or sent back to the attacker.

The main aim of a keylogger is to record usernames, passwords and credit card information.

Keyloggers can be downloaded or plugged into the USB port.

Part 2: Four ways malware cAN infect your system

1. Accidentally 
downloading an infected file from an insecure website.

2. Phishing emails - clicking on attachments or links in spam emails.

3. Installing malware from a physical device, e.g. USB stick.

4. Self-replicating malware, such as worms, spreading across a network.

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