The term “malware” gets thrown around a lot nowadays, especially as high-profile malware attacks on public services around the world are taking place seemingly more and more and with alarming efficacy. Malware is a contraction of “malicious software” and includes harmful programs that are designed with a singular purpose: to make your life hell.
These programs may take over your computer and demand payment in order to release it again — that’s “ransomware” — or it could sit dormant in the system stealing information from you one password and security question answer at a time…the disquieting list goes on and on. Below is a list of some of the most common types of malware. If you suspect any of these have entered your computer system, you need to call a professional malware removal support service straight away.
If you’ve ever been working and been bombarded with spam-like pop-up ads just constantly appearing around your screen, sometimes on your desktop and other times on your desktop, then you might have become a victim of adware, one of the most common and irritating forms of malware.
Adware will sit in your computer spamming you with ads, sometimes with pop-up fake news pages that are plastered with ads. While it is relatively harmless and usually doesn’t do things like corrupt your files or actively steal your data, it does make your computer harder to use, and it can lead to harm if you click on an ad that leads you to download other forms of damaging malware.
An increasingly common phenomenon is for people to be attacked with ransomware. A number of high-profile cases around the world have seen public services like hospitals targeted with ransomware, where a program takes over and locks the computer and will only allow access to be restored when a financial “ransom” has been paid to the hacker. These amounts might only be relatively small amounts like $1,000, but if that is per computer in a hospital, that can add up to a lot of money.
- Computer Viruses and Trojans
The classic computer virus may have become famous in the 1990s and 2000s as a dangerous email declaring their love for the receivers tore through computer systems around the world, but they’re just as potent a danger today as they ever were. People have generally become more conscious about viruses and trojans — innocent-looking programs with viruses hidden inside — but still things slip through our nets.
Bots are an unusual and quite disquieting form of malware. They’re a form of software that will initially sit quietly in your system but then will start doing things without your input or commands. Mostly, the program will be spreading the bot virus to other machines to create what is known as a “botnet.” With multiple computers providing all the power they need, hackers can use botnets to launch devastating attacks against others, all while the owner of the source devices is unaware that their machine is currently being used in such a way.
Finally, there’s spyware, a favourite of cybercriminals everywhere as a tool to steal people’s passwords and other information by logging keystrokes. You might have seen this technology used in films and TV series to try and catch the bad guys out while they use their computers, but it’s more often in reality used by criminals trying to steal passwords to commit identity theft.
If you’re running a platform with multiple users registered, that spyware could even steal the details of your users, which might then be sold on to dodgy third parties for less than wholesome reasons.