We can hear almost every day the word malware around us. In the Media (Television, newspaper…) in the digital formats (Social Media such as Twitter, Facebook…). However, do we know what a malware is?

Origins

The word malware is the mix of malicious + software. The Oxford dictionary defines malware as a “Software which is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain authorized access to a computer system”. However, we can find other definitions for malware “Malware or a malicious software is any program or file that is harmful to a computer user”. “Any software used to disrupt computer or mobile operations, gather sensitive information, and gain access to private computer or mobile operations ” and also another definition is”Software intended to damage a computer, mobile device, computersystem, or computer network, or to take partial control over its operation”

What is the main objective?

The idea of creating a malware, at the beginning, it was not to create problems in the computers. They were experiments focus on made a kind of joke . However, with the past of the years the objective change and currently the main objective is to enter in another system in order to stole any kind of information, change parameters inside, being redirected to a website with more malware… The idea is to create chaos in the system that they are enter to.

How it works?

There are different ways, for example physical when you connect an USB to your personal device and it was infected but also if you visit any specific website that it is contaminated but you don’t know it.

The most common types of malware:

Virus: The most common type of malware is the virus. Knows for almost every one, it is a malicious program that can executive itself and it is destroys data or looks for any kind of personal information (Passwords, credit cards numbers…). It spreads really quickly by infecting other programs or files. Something really important to take into account with the virus is that it can use your computer to spread spam email being coordinated attacks against website on the Internet.

Worm: A type of malware that replicates itself over network. A worm can be spread without any human interaction. We usually have it in our computers because we can’t perceive it and most of the time we received via email.

Trojan horse: This type of malware masquerades as a legitimate program in your computer. So you, as a user, think that is going to install a specific program in your computer and surprise…It is not, you have just installed a malware that can compromise your computers security for example, deleting data, spread spam…

Rootkits: This type of malware affects directly to the Operative System with the idea of hiding the malware from user so they will not notice.

Ransomware: As we have seen in one of our post a Ransomware is the virtual kidnapping of confidential and /or private information from our device made by a third party.

Phishing: It shows a website as a legitimate one. however what the cybercriminals are doing is “fishing” information because you are not in the real website that you are trying to enter to.

How can I know if my device is infected?

  • Slow computer or web browser speeds.
  • Problems connecting to networks.
  • Freezing or crashing.
  • Modified or deleted files.
  • Appearance of strange files, programs, or desktop icons.
  • Strange computer behavior.