Written by John Harris, Updated on October 09, 2023

What is Malware?

Malware is a term used to describe malicious software designed to disrupt normal computer operation, gather user’s personal information, gain unauthorized access to system resources, and exhibit other annoying activities. It can appear in the form of code, scripts, active content, and other software. They are designed so that malware can perform all these activities without the owner’s permission.

Malware has been intentionally designed to change a user's settings without their permission. A computer, mobile phone, or any device can be infected by malware by visiting an infected website, downloading infected software, or installing infected software. Sometimes, even using USB drives that are portable and connected to the virus-infected device could spread infection to the system.

Types of Malware

The exact purpose of any piece of malware is dependent on what type of malware it is. The effects of malware differ according to the specific type of malware that has infected the computer. It can delete a competing software program and even cause a software program to stop working, or leave a computer open to attacks.

Some of the most prevalent forms of malware are explained below-

  1. Virus
  2. A virus is a malicious code that is inserted into an application and is activated when a user runs the application. Once activated, viruses would be able to steal data, insert ransomware, corrupt files and folders, etc. Recovering files after a virus attack may prove to be difficult depending on how severe the attack was.

    Example: ILOVEYOU, Elk Cloner

  3. Computer Worms
  4. Worms enter an operating system through any vulnerabilities available. It could be a backdoor in the code, a USB drive.

    Example: Stuxnet, Code Red

  5. Trojan
  6. A Trojan wil disguise itself as a legitimate or desirable software. Ones downloaded by a victim, the trojan can cause all sorts of damage. A Trojan can be disguised as a software patch, be embedded in games , phishing emails and more.

    Example: ILOVEYOU- disguised as a love letter that is sent as an email attachment named LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.txt.vbs.

  7. Spyware
  8. Spyware is a type of malware that is created to collect private information and credentials of the victim. The type of information stolen could range from passwords to bank account information.

    Example- DarkHotel - this spyware was used to infiltrate business and government leaders using the hotel wifi and stole sensitive information.

  9. Rootkits
  10. Rootkits are malicious software that allow a user to gain remote access to a victims system.

    Example: Knark , Ador , Stoned Bootkit

  11. Keyloggers
  12. Keyloggers are a type of spyware that records the users activities on a system. It can be used to track employes or monitor children but as a malware it can be used to steal passwords and other personal informations.

    Example: PunkeyPOS, Agent Tesla

  13. Fileless Malware
  14. Malware that belong to this category are fairly dangerous as they often operate undetected by the operating software. The malware works by making changes to an already operating system file. Since the system file is considered to be legitimate by the operatinging system, the attack is often not caught.

    Example: Frodo, Number of the Beast

  15. Adware
  16. Adware is a type of spyware that records a victims browsing activity. This data can be sold to advertiser to deliver more targetted ads. Adware can also display unsolicited ads and other undesired marketing ads.

  17. Wiper Malware
  18. Wiper malware are programmed to erase user data of the victim and ensure that it cannot be recovered. If you have been affected by a Wiper malware it recommended that you approach a professional service of make use of a professional data recovery software such as Remo Recover to try and restore your data.

    Example: IsaacWiper, KillDisk


When It comes to Malware, having a good anti virus software installed always helps. Mainting a high level of cycber security is most effective as a preventive method and may not be as effective after the damage has been done. You also follow the below tips in order to prevent malware attacks in the future-

  • Keep all your applications and operating system updated.
  • Avoid suspicios websites, and do not download anything recommened by popup ads.
  • Only download files from trusted sources.
  • Install a good antivirus Software.

To Conclude

i hope that this article was able to help you increase your knowledge of malware. Cyber attacks may be new, but they are here to stay. As users of network technology, it is absolutey vital that we protect ourselves from all possible threats.

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