Malware Part 1: Viruses, Trojans, Worms, Spyware, Adware
Malwares or Malicious softwares are programs that are made intending to sabotage and destroy your computer or penetrate, spy and steal your information on your computer. These Malicious Software could be categorized into 5 major groups Viruses, Trojans, Worms, Spyware and Adware. What, are the differences between these 5 types?
Viruses are programs that act like biological viruses. They replicate or make a copy of themselves in another host. Using an infected host, like USB Flash disks or drives, viruses infect your computer and wait until you insert another flash disc to infect. While waiting in your computer, viruses, depending on their code, could either slow down the system, mess up your file system, or even destroy your files.
Trojans are programs that do not replicate or copy themselves. Trojans are software that are made by would be hackers to spy on your computer and create what they call back doors. These programs are intentionally placed on your computer directly, where there is physical contact with the computer, or indirectly, where a copy is sent through your Email or even by an infected Flash Drive. The trojan would then be on your computer but it will neither replicate nor crawl to other computers connected to the infected computer.
Worms, on the other hand, are the ones that have the capability to crawl to any computer connected to the infected computer. Worms infect computers through the local network and even through the public networks. Worms infect others by scanning your network and infecting any computer connected to your network. Other Worms would scan your email software for email addresses and send a copy of themselves to your contacts and act like it was sent by you. Worms also have the capability to destroy your files depending on the code programmed into it. Worms also has the effect of slowing down your network speed since it would scan your network and send copies of itself. Worms eat up a lot of bandwidth in a network.
Spyware and Adware are almost the same. The difference of these two is the intent and the usage. Spyware as its name implies is used to spy your computer for any vulnerabilities. Adware on the other hand is used to constantly bug you with Advertisements. Normally known as Unwanted Pop-ups. Both, however, can infect you by websites, that without your permission, that copy or install these unwanted software into your computer. Spyware and Adware, are sometimes also considered as Trojans by other Antivirus Software since it does not replicate or crawl in the network but does damage to your computer.
Whichever type, these Malicious Software, is harmful to your computer and is a threat to your personal security. It is best to be able to early detect these software and be able to purge them out of your system. As prolonged, exposure to these Malicious Software is very damaging which could cause you to lose your data.
In Malware Part 2: Malware Detection and Removal, we will discus how to detect malware and some basic techniques in removing these Malicious Software.
on May 11, 2010 | Computers & Internet