What is malware?
In computing is meant by malware (contraction in English maliciou s software , ie “malware”) to the different forms of software malicious aimed infiltrate a computer system and once to carry out a series of covert activities , that go from the sabotage of the own system, the theft of confidential data, the appropriation of its computer resources and / or the contagion of other systems that can be in network.
This type of harmful programs appeared during the 1980s , when personal computers began to become popular all over the world, and now have their favorite means of propagation on the Internet , whether through suspicious email ( Spam ), pages infected websites, shared files online, etc.
The origin of malware and computer viruses may have been initially as a joke or a game, by young programmers, unaware of the damage they could cause. However, since then the harmful software has evolved and grown in illegal uses , to the point that it has become imperative to use antivirus tools .
According to reports from the company F-Secure, in 2007 there would have been as much malware as in the previous 20 years, and according to Panda Security, in 2011, 73,000 new IT threats were created per day, which exceeds the production of legal software with you grow
See also: Firewall .
Types of malware
According to its propagation method, we can talk about various types of malware, such as:
Viruses and worms ( worms ) . It is software that invades the system and performs harmful actions, such as deleting critical components of the Operating System, after having used its resources to be sent by email or other means, spreading the infection.
Malware hidden . These are harmful programs whose entry into the system and action in it occurs silently, without the user noticing.
- Troyanos . Disguised as something innocuous or beneficial, these programs invite the user to execute them, and then they open the door to hundreds of other malicious programs.
- Backdoors . Its name in English means “back door”, since it allows the access of third parties to the computer system, evading the usual controls and communication protocols.
- Drive- by downloads . Malicious pieces of software that are downloaded automatically by certain Web pages without asking the user for authorization or allowing him to stop it in time, and open the door to other forms of virtual invasion.
- Rootkits . These are techniques for modifying key files of the Operating System, to allow the malware present to remain hidden from the installed detection programs.
Advertising malware .
- Spyware . Programs that secretly collect information from the pages visited on the Internet and use it to bombard us with Spam.
- Adware . They work the same as spyware , but showing us online advertising while we browse.
- Hijack ers . Programs “hijackers” that modify the configuration of the Internet browser, forcing it to start on a certain Web page or show certain messages.
Information hijackers .
- Keyloggers . Programs that secretly collect user passwords and send them to an anonymous requester, such as credit card numbers, etc.
- Stealers . Similar to keyloggers, they steal sensitive information from the user, but only the one stored on the computer.
- Dialers . Since not so popular since the bulk of Internet connections are Broadband, these programs stole a telephone signal and allowed illegal calls to be made remotely.
- Botnets . It is called this way to groups of computers that respond to instructions of third parties at a distance and in secret, allowing them the indirect sending of Spam or virus, making it more difficult to trace the source.
- Ransomware . Various forms of software that are entered into online user accounts, modify the password and then request a payment as a ransom to release it.
Where does the malware come from?
We come into contact with malware in various ways, on high traffic sites such as pornographic networks or gambling sites , or when opening suspicious email attachments.
For the most part, the malware comes from China and the United States , the largest software producers in the world, or from other similar nations. Occasionally these malicious programs can even come from recognized companies, hidden in their products.
A famous case has been the ” Windows Telemetry ” process, which includes new versions of Windows , and which is able to collect information about user habits and secretly send them to Microsoft , using system resources.
How to protect us from malware?
The best option to protect yourself from malware is to install an antivirus and antimalware program on your computer , which must be up-to-date with your virus definitions, and to which we must grant the necessary permissions to monitor the entry of unsolicited software into the system.
It is also useful to have the Operating System and our main applications updated, since many security updates compensate weaknesses of the system exploitable by these malicious programs.
And as a measure of digital hygiene, you should avoid installing unknown software on the machine, as well as opening suspicious emails, much less clicking on advertisements that seem too good to be true.
It can help you: Computer Antivirus .