The internet can be a scary place sometimes. What may seem like a harmless Spectrum triple play promotional email can turn out to be a virus. A harmless-looking attachment sent in email has the potential to hold your computer for ransom. Software that is intended to subversively download on your computer and harm it is known as malware.
It is essential to take preventive measures periodically to ensure your computer is safe from malware.
Types of Malware
Malware has a few broad categories which include:
- Logic bombs
- Trojan horses
Unlike software, malware is intended to be installed on your computer without your explicit content. This is done in a variety of ways, the most widely known of which is email phishing. Malware threats tend to change and evolve as protection against them is developed.
This makes it hard to identify any single malware with traditional metrics in terms of how new or harmful it is. However here are some of the most well-known malware threats that have appeared till date:
- FBI Virus
The FBI virus, also known as the FBI Moneypack scam, gained notoriety by pretending to be an FBI alert. The virus opens a pop up claiming to be from the FBI that is impossible to close. It states that your computer has been blocked due to some illegal activity and attempts to extort you for around $200. The virus causes your system to lock down until you pay the scammers.
Luckily, you don’t have to be an unwilling supporter of cybercriminals. Simply boot your system into Safe Mode with Networking and run a virus/anti-malware scan. By removing the detected files, you can remove the FBI virus from your computer and regain control.
Emotet is a type of malware known as a Trojan horse. It spreads rapidly on your system and deploys other Trojans as well. It penetrates your computer through spam emails containing malicious links or attachments.
The primary purpose of the Emotet Trojan is to gain access to your bank and credit card information. Once it gets a hold of this info, it will promptly clean out your bank balance. Even more ominous, Emotet acts as a courier for other cyberattack groups.
It is ranked as the most destructive and costly piece of malware that affects local, state, territorial and tribal governments alike. The best defence against Emotet is updated McAfee antivirus plans or Malwarebytes.
WannaCry is a worm with ransomware programming. It enters a system through malicious spam emails. It has been active on the malware circuit since mid-2017. WannaCry consists of two programming components: the worm that propagates itself and the ransomware that enables extortion.
Essentially, it blocks access to all data on a computer until the ransom is paid. Like much malware, WannaCry penetrates your system through email phishing. Mostly targeted at private PCs, WannaCry has been known to target businesses and corporations as well.
Luckily, the easy fix is to keep your Windows updated and to allow automatic updates.
Suspicious. Emit is a backdoor Trojan that is severely aggressive and grants access to your system to a remote third party. Through the use of code injection, the Trojan disguises itself and avoids detection by malware-scanning software.
It places an autorun.inf file in your system’s root directory. This Trojan has the capability to steal your data as well as use your system to spread to other computers.
Luckily, you can tell if your computer is infected if there are any registry changes or an overall slowdown. A standard anti-malware should find the Trojan and remove it, making your system clean once again.
Unlike the other malware on this list, Loyphish is a malicious web page that steals your details and credentials. It pretends to be a banking website and pushes an online form which it attempts to get you to fill out. The cunningly disguised page makes people think they are sharing sensitive information with their bank.
In fact, malicious attackers are stealing it. The most prudent measures, in this case, is to have an updated anti-virus software as well as enabled firewalls. Also, always exercise caution when visiting unknown web pages or opening suspicious emails. Having a little knowledge of malware is very important in today’s treacherous internet landscape.
A page disguised as a reseller for Spectrum packages could steal your information. Software pretending to be useful could turn out to be security compromising Trojan horses. Harmless-looking emails could be full of worms. Always keep your operating system up to date, keep firewalls enabled and use the internet prudently.