In this article, you will learn about different types of threats, malware, and how they work.
Malware is any software, product, or program created with the intent to cause harm. The most common types of malware are viruses, Trojans, and worms.
Below, we’ll tackle the most prevalent offenders and what you can do about them.
Note: the following descriptions are generalizations and new threats emerge daily. While some malware types cannot do much damage on their own, they can still harm your device and data when combined with other types.
Why is it important to remove malware files?
It is critical that you delete malware-associated files as soon as possible because they can be used - or are already being used - to inflict serious damage to your device. They can:
- Disrupt the normal functionality of your operating system or even render it completely useless;
- Hijack valuable private information (credit card numbers, passwords, PIN codes, etc.);
- Direct all your web searches to the same unwanted or malicious sites;
- Slow down your device drastically;
- Gain complete control of your device to spread viruses and Trojans as well as send out spam.
|ADSPY||What it is: Adware or spyware.
What it can do: ADSPY will bombard you with unwanted pop-up ads more often than not. However, it can also cause more harm by redirecting you to malicious websites. It is even able to change your browser settings.
|ADWARE||What it is: Ad software. Software that displays ads by modifying websites or opening additional pages on your browser.
What it can do: ADWARE can display ads by modifying the websites you visit or opening additional pages on your browser.
Important to note: This software can go unnoticed ‘cause it’s often packaged with other downloads. For example, it's common for free programs to include adware as a default install option.
What it is: Applications of dubious origin.
Important to note: This detection doesn't necessarily mean that the file is malicious. However, if the file was downloaded without your knowledge, your system security might be compromised.
|BAT||What it is: A virus in a batch format.
What it can do: BAT can execute commands from the command line, whereby the system can be modified.
|BDC||What it is: A backdoor client program.
What it can do: BDC can extract or change data on a computer.
|BOO||What it is: A boot sector or master boot sector virus.
What it can do: BOO can target and infect a specific physical section of a computer system that contains information crucial to the proper operation of the computer's operating system.
|DDOS||What it is: A program that can perform distributed denial of service attacks.
What it can do: DDoS allows hackers to overwhelm a website or service with false web traffic or requests from numerous enslaved internet-connected devices, slowing down or downright crashing the affected site or service.
|DIALER||What it is: A special type of Trojan.
What it can do: DIALER will do one of two things: it will either replace the number in your internet connection dial-up settings to become a premium rate number or simply implant an autodialer on your computer, which will continually dial a certain premium rate number.
|DROPPER||What it is: A type of Trojan.
What it can do: DROPPER can install some sort of malware (virus, backdoor, etc.) onto a system. The malware code can be contained within the dropper (single-stage) in a way that avoids detection by virus scanners. Alternatively, the dropper may download the malware to the machine only when activated (two-stage).
What it is: A potentially harmful email.
What it is: A type of malware.
What it is: An exploit in the system.
What it is: A generic detection routine.
What it is: A virus that can infect the system using an HTML script.
What it is: A construction kit.
What it is: A file virus or malware in the Shell or ELF format that is only executable on a Linux operating system.
What it is: A computer virus written in the same macro language as the software it infects (common victims include Microsoft Excel and Word).
What it is: A file virus or malware that runs on Apple OSX systems only.
What it is: A heuristic detection routine.
What it is: Possibly Fake Software, also known as scareware.
What it is: An email, voice call, instant message, file, etc., delivered under false pretenses.
What it is: A virus that runs on 32-bit or 64-bit Windows systems.
What it is: Potentially Unwanted Applications.
What it is: A legitimate program that poses potential risks due to security vulnerabilities, software incompatibility, or legal violations.
What it is: A piece of software that uses cloaking techniques.
What it is: A type of cyberattack that leverages the system's existing applications and tools.
What it is: A Trojan horse.
What it is: Visual Basic Script virus.
What it is: A piece of code that inserts itself into an application and executes when the app is run.
What it is: A virus that is able to spread itself over the internet (using email, peer-to-peer networks, instant messages (IMs), etc.).
Congratulations! Now you know the differences between threats, and what they can do.
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