Malware, short for malicious software, has been a toxic issue since the internet became a thing. Microsoft states that malware is “used as a catch-all term to refer to any software designed to cause damage to a single computer, server, or computer network”.1 There are many forms of malware, the main offenders being:
A worm is a self contained application that can copy itself and transfer itself across a network. They often utilize parts of technology that is typically hidden from the user and may not be recognizable as an infection and tend to target existing vulnerabilities in operating sytems.2
Based off of the Trojan Horse – this is a form of malware that disguises itself as something the user would want, which would cause them to let the application bypass internal defence the user computer has. These are generally used to damage an/or take over the computer with the trojan.3
Properly named, a virus in technology is a form of malware that attaches itself to legitimate code and spreads wherever it can to take over computers or hurt them. A virus needs a host and cannot work alone. By feeding off of real code, the virus will spread when the host application is executed.4
Although knowing the difference between malware types is important, knowing how to avoid dealing with them in the first place is the primary focus here. Please view our other articles on CU*Secure to familiarize yourself with saftey standards for internet usage.
Check out Knowing Malware – Part 2 for more information!