What is Malware?
and how it can infect you
What is Malware? Let’s take a look at the Wikipedia definition first.
“Malware, short for malicious software, is any software used to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. Malware is defined by its malicious intent, acting against the requirements of the computer user, and does not include software that causes unintentional harm due to some deficiency. The term badware is sometimes used, and applied to both true (malicious) malware and unintentionally harmful software.“
What is malware and what types of malware are there
These are generally programs embedded within another peice of computer software which is hidden from the user. When the user installs a ‘trusted’ peice of software they inadvertantly install a virus as well. Once infected this virus can multiply and infect other files. The objective of the virus is to perform a malicious action and cause meyhem within the system it has infected.
The name orginates from the ancient greek story of the wooden horse when soldiers hid inside a wooden horse to get inside the fort.
Similarly a computer Trojan Horse disguises itself as a piece of software that a user is attracted to and subsequently installs it on their computer or network and inadvertently installs the Trojan Horse.
Generally the objective of a Trojan Horse is once in to identify and vulnerable backdoors within the server or computer and provide access to the hacker. To be able to identify the Trojan Horse you would normally need some specialist software to detect it however the most obvious indicator of a Trojan Horse on your machine would be the reduced performance as the Trojan Horse dominates the computing power. See how to remove malware from your computer.
You have most likely heard this mentioned many times and it is exactly as the name suggests.
A backdoor is a method of bypassing normal authentication, securing unauthorized remote access to a computer, while attempting to remain undetected.
A perfect example of this would be default passwords can function as backdoors if they are not changed by the user. It goes without saying change your username and passwords. WordPress has a default username called ‘admin’ NEVER NEVER use this username.
Trojan Horses once inside can create backdoors, so staying clean of malware and viruses is key to staying safe.
Once a virus, malware Trojan Horse or any kind of infection has been injected into your system, the program thats infecting your machine knows it is going to be hunted so it is the job of Rootkits to keep the virus concealed and hidden.
Essentially malware was originally created as experiments and pranks but evolved into vandalism. Today the use of malware is for profit throgh advertising (adware), stealing sensitive information (Spyware), spreading email spam (zombies) and extorsion (Ransonware).
All of which use considerable resources on your machine so be alert if your machine performance be it your laptop, server or whatever starts to slow down, you could have some nasty malware. Get it cleaned up.