Security is a major concern in today’s digital world and attackers constantly try to compromise your devices using a variety of different methods. They mostly rely on malicious applications and scripts that can potentially compromise your privacy.
Malware is a general term that is used to indicate a range of malicious software. There are numerous types of Malware and each type comes with its own level of risk.
Types of Malware Ransomware, keyloggers, adware, and spyware are prevalent types of malware attacks. The working mechanism of most malwares is simple, while they may put your machine on high-risk.
Following are the few dangerous types of malwares:
Ransomware Ransomware is a type of Malware where the hacker demands ransom from the user. The hacker encrypts all files and data, and the user can no longer access it until he pays the ransom amount. Even if you pay the hacker, your access to files is never guaranteed.
RATs Remote Administration Tools (RATs) is a gateway used by hackers to compromise and access different devices by simply executing a malicious program on a targeted device. These RATs are completely stealth and they rarely leave any traces behind.
Once a hacker has executed that malicious file, he can access all your data, webcams and even screens. It is difficult to locate such programs but if your device is misbehaving a lot and your CPU usage is skyrocketing a lot then it is a straight red flag.
Web Shells Our web servers can also be compromised if we haven’t taken any necessary security measures. Hackers normally try to access admin panels of a website to upload malicious scripts that enable remote access to the device. These scripts are normally WebShells.
Computer Worms A computer worm is one of the most common types of malware. It spreads from device to device, forming a long chain of infected computers. Unlike other viruses, worms do not take support of other applications to infect your computer.
These worms can cause potential harm to your devices by executing certain payloads. Moreover, they can consume your network’s bandwidth and also cause your web server to overload.
Web Shell acts as a command line interface where all illegitimate commands can be executed to steal or alter any data present on the web server. Many advanced web shells come with a complete graphical user interface with various functionalities to modify or extract desired information. They can also steal user credentials of that particular website.
Hackers normally use these web shells to deface websites and steal confidential data that can harm an organization or government.
Adware Adwares are the most irritating type of malicious programs. They show unwanted ads all across your device. This type of malware often comes from web browsers where we allow certain websites to show ads and they spam our device with malicious and unexpected ads.
This type of malware is not potentially dangerous but the ads shown on your device can include some other type of malicious scripts that might be risky.
Spyware Spywares are another stealthy type of malicious software that secretly tracks all your online activities. They collect all your browser data and surfing habits along with your private usernames and passwords that you use on different platforms.
The Spyware applications are normally injected by attackers by providing you freeware or cracked versions of different software that actually include spyware malicious script. Once you open the desired software, malicious code is also executed alongside.
Trojan Horse A trojan horse works secretly as a legitimate program in the victim’s computer. A hacker can access your machine, and he is allowed to make changes. Trojans can delete, modify, copy or block data on your device.
A sub-type of trojan is a backdoor trojan which hackers use to compromise devices of hundreds or thousands of users to form a zombie network or botnet for illegitimate purposes.
Keyloggers Keylogger tracks your keyboard key typing. It is capable of monitoring everything you enter using your keyboard. These keyloggers can be used to steal your account details and more such as your messages etc.
Endpoint Attacks Endpoint attacks can penetrate an organization in various ways.
Here are some possibilities:
An infected device may contact with the corporate environment to infect the system.
A portable device may infect it with Malware.
Any techniques used by hackers to deceive the user into installing malicious software.
An employee may unknowingly attach an infected USB with an organization’s system. These types of big-scale attacks are not cheap, and here attackers are at higher risk. They may approach someone working in the organization and use him as a tool to pull off the attack successfully.
Emotet The Emotet is a type of trojan that is spread through the emails. The spam mails seem to be original, but they have a malicious link, script, or macro-enabled documents. There will be an action button trap such as the “Payment Details” button etc. The hacker will try to convince you to click the button to run any malicious script or file.
TrickBot Trickbot is one of the most popular types of Malware which targets various online users. It easily spoofs your banking sites by using website injections. When a connection is being established between the user and the site, trick bot intercepts and injects.
Trojan Trojans are mostly undetectable, and they mostly look like any other normal files. They are mostly bound with cracked software or file attachments.
Malware Prevention & Mitigation Prevention from malware attacks is not too easy. Hackers come up with new types of attacks, but here are some effective prevention and mitigation tips that will help you secure yourself.
Antivirus: Antivirus software is needed to protect yourself from most of the malware attacks. Consider purchasing a premium antivirus software for better security.
Secure Authentication: In case your device is compromised, make sure all your important accounts are safe. You can ensure your account’s security by using strong passwords that combine alphabets, numbers and special characters. It is also highly recommended to use multi-factor authentication to prevent anyone from accessing your personal accounts. Facial Recognition and Biometric fingerprint are two other smart ways to secure your privacy.
Limit Administrative Privilege: When you open certain programs with Administrator privilege, they get access to certain areas of your device. If it’s a malicious program then your device will be compromised because of giving administrative privilege. Hence, it is always a safe option to use non-administrator accounts while surfing the internet or using various applications.
Email Attachments: You must block all those attachments that can contain a malicious script (mostly .dll and .exe files). Those files should also be prevented, which you cannot scan on the spot (.zip files).
Restrictions: Restrict any unnecessary conversations in your network.
Update Software: New vulnerabilities are regularly introduced in software packages. The software providers keep patching these loopholes to prevent hackers from exploiting them. If you are using outdated applications then you are at high risk of a malware or other type of malicious attack that can get your device compromised.
Monitor Activity: It is highly recommended to constantly monitor your device traffic. Log all the incoming and outgoing traffic through your internet and see if something feels unusual.
Also check applications that run in the background of your device. See how much memory, CPU and GPU they are consuming. If they are consuming unnecessary resources above a certain level then it is possible that you are dealing with a malicious program.
Run Schedule Scans: You never know when a malicious program is executed on your device. It’s always a smart choice to schedule device scans once in a while. These scans will help you find and cope with any malicious activities or applications that you have recently installed.
Make sure you have a premium Antivirus software installed, which can instantly capture any unusual activity or a file.
Avoid Unnecessary Clicks: We often click here and there while surfing on the internet. A single click on a malicious ad or program can get our device compromised. Make sure everything is transparent before you click that button. Avoid visiting any unsecured websites because they are more prone to malicious attacks.
Avoid Open-WIFI’s: Public WIFI networks are like a hot spot for the hackers. Multiple people are given access to the same network and a hacker can easily intercept in between to compromise your privacy. If you need to use an open-WiFi then make sure your VPN is active.
Bottom Line Malware is not a single type of virus but it is a name given to a bunch of malicious applications that can get your device compromised. It’s not easy to avoid all types of attacks but prevention measures can be taken to minimize the risk.
Educate yourself about different types of viruses and always use an Antivirus to scan applications before you execute them on your PC. Also be careful about your email box as plenty of attacks are imposed through this medium.