What is Malware? What are different types of Malware?

Today in this article, we are going to discuss what is malware, its different types, the symptoms that a system is infected with malware, and how to prevent a system from malware infection.


Malware (OR malicious software) is a computer program that is intentionally designed to disrupt a computer system or network. It can be used to destroy a computer system by disrupting its services, extracting sensitive information from a system, tracking activities of a system, modifying or deleting important files and system security settings, etc.

Malware is an umbrella term that includes different computer threats for example computer viruses, Trojan horses, worms, ransomware, spyware, and other malicious programs.

Types of Malware

Viruses Computer viruses are malicious code that is attached to other files, it gets executed when that file is opened. It spread from system to system while sharing data. A virus can greatly disrupt the performance of a system and causes data losses.

Worm – Worm is a malicious code that does not need a host for running, it can run on its own. It rapidly replicates and spreads to any device connected to a network. Worm infection slowdowns the victim’s computer or network.

Trojan Horse – The Trojan Horse is a malware that carries a hidden malicious function that gets activated when the application is started. It spreads through legitimate-looking emails and files attached to it and similar other methods. When someone opens an email the attachment gets downloaded and run on a system. It disrupts the system performance and causes data losses.

Spyware – It is a type of malware that targets sensitive information of a system instead of disrupting the device’s operation. It gets secretly installed on a computer and grants remote access to a hacker who is intended to get the information.

Adware – Adware is a malicious code that collects user data and provides advertisements accordingly in a browser. These are not always dangerous but can redirect you to unsafe sites that contain spyware, Trojan Horses, etc.

Ransomeware – Ransomware is malicious code that gets installed on a system and encrypts all the data of a user so that it can not be accessed. The encrypted data is decrypted only after the payment that is asked by the attacker.

Rootkits – A rootkit is a set of malicious computer programs that are designed to enable access to a remote computer system while hiding its presence. It is used by cybercriminals to gain access to a remote computer with the intention to get personal or financial details.

Fileless malware – It is a type of malware that resides and operates from the memory of a system. It is not in the form of a file so can not be scanned and detected with usual anti-malware programs. Fileless malware gets disappeared when your reboot your system so it also makes forensics more difficult.

Backdoors – It is a malware type that bypasses the usual authentication process. It is used by cybercriminals to get access to a system and steal sensitive information from it.

Logic bombs – The logic bomb is a malicious code that is triggered when a logical condition is met, initially it behaves normally and when a certain condition is met it starts behaving in a specific way it can again change the tactics on a specific date and time.

Grayware – All the applications come under Grayware that behave in an annoying or undesirable manner on a system. Unlike a virus, it cannot potentially damage the computer but worsen the performance of a system.

How to know that your computer is Malware infected?

The following things can indicate the presence of malware in your system –

  • Your system hangs, restarts, or sometimes a blues screen appears with a lot of error messages
  • Application on your system behaves unusually
  • System settings get modified automatically without your permissions
  • Web pages don’t function properly
  • Getting random annoying ads and notifications
  • Low disk space message even if you know there is a lot of space empty on your system
  • File and directories get corrupted
  • Programs running or closing without your consent

How to prevent your system from Malware infection

To prevent your system from malware you need to follow a few things –

  • Always make your system up to date so that it gets patched against any known vulnerability
  • Use up to date applications
  • Use an updated anti-malware program
  • Don’t install software from an unknown source
  • Don’t open file attachments from unknown sources
  • Implement email security and spam protection
  • Always scan the USB drive before using it
  • Read the software license agreement carefully and then allow it to install.
  • Keep updated yourself about the latest system security methods

Now e hope this article is useful to you. If you have any queries or suggestions then write us in the comments below.

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