Types of Malware

Malware is a catch-all term for viruses, trojans, and other damaging computer programs that threat actors use to infect systems and networks and access sensitive data. Malware is software designed to obstruct a computer's regular operation. Short for malicious software.

Types of Malware

  • Macro Virus is a kind of virus that’s written in macro, a programming language rooted inside software applications like Microsoft Office. They may come from documents attached to emails, or the code may be downloaded after clicking on "phishing" links in banner ads or URLs.
  • Stealth Virus is a computer virus that uses various mechanisms to avoid detection by antivirus software. It takes its name from the term stealth, which describes an approach to doing something while avoiding notice.
  • Polymorphic Viruses are complex file infectors that can create modified versions of themselves to avoid detection yet retain the same basic routines after every infection.
  • Self garbling Virus is a type of computer virus that will attempt to hide from an antivirus program by garbling its own code. When a self-garbling virus propagates it will change the encoding of its own code to trick antivirus programs and stay hidden on the computer system.
  • Bot and Zombies: "bot," short for "robot," is a type of software application or script that performs tasks on command, allowing an attacker to take complete control remotely of an affected computer.
  • Worm Virus is a malicious, self-replicating program that can spread throughout a network without human assistance. 
  • OS Rootkits is a stealthy and dangerous type of malware that lets hackers access your computer without your knowledge.
  • Keylogger is a type of malicious software that records every keystroke you make on your computer. Keyloggers are a type of spyware — malware designed to spy on victims.
  • Trojan Horse is a type of malware that downloads onto a computer disguised as a legitimate program. The delivery method typically sees an attacker use social engineering to hide malicious code within legitimate software to try and gain users' system access with their software.
  • Rat viruses known as Remote access trojans (RATs) is a malware designed to allow an attacker to remotely control an infected computer. Once the RAT is running on a compromised system, the attacker can send commands to it and receive data back in response.
  • Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that threatens to publish or blocks access to data or a computer system, usually by encrypting it, until the victim pays a ransom fee to the attacker. In many cases, the ransom demand comes with a deadline. If the victim doesn’t pay in time, the data is gone forever or the ransom increases.
  • Spyware is a type of malicious software -- or malware -- that is installed on a computing device without the end user's knowledge. It invades the device, steals sensitive information and internet usage data, and relays it to advertisers, data firms, or external users.
  • Adware, or advertising-supported malware, is a term used to describe unwanted software that displays advertisements on your device. An adware virus is considered a PUP (potentially unwanted program), which means it's a program that is installed without express permission from the user.

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