The popular term, malware, itself is short for malicious software and actually does what the word and the name suggest. They hijack someone’s computer with the intent to cause harm in the form of stealing personal data, hijacking access or compromising essential functions, and many more. When getting your website built, make sure to ask your web development company to install protective measures against this malware.
Types of Malware
Malware can be generally categorized into five types
Worms are the most typical form of malware and operate by self-replication by creating multiple copies of it. Unlike other malware, worms do not need human actions and spread much faster. It generally overloads computers and web servers but sometimes can be coded to delete or steal files and much more.
Viruses are like worms but cause much bigger damage. Viruses activate with human actions like opening an infected program and are often disguised as downloads. Once activated, they can harm the host in many ways as stealing data or money, opening threads of unwanted advertisements, slowing down or overloading the computer, and much more.
Trojan horses are malware disguised as harmless applications. Once activated by user activity, it can jeopardize security and privacy by granting some harmful third-party access to the host computer. The hacker can then steal information, monitor user activities, install malware, and even do DoS attacks.
Rootkits are malware that lets hackers and cyber-criminals secretly access and remotely control the host computer. Rootkits bypass the security protocols, and through them, hackers can manipulate the system, steal money or data, and can perform a host of other malicious activities. They require continuous user monitoring.
Spyware is malware that spies on the user activity on the host computer. Once executed, Spywares monitor and collects data through keystrokes and conducts data harvesting without the knowledge of the user. Additionally, Spywares can modify security settings and network configurations, exploiting the gaps in the structure of the web development application.
Antiviruses and Anti-Spywares
Antivirus software starts by checking the system for viruses using its algorithm to conduct a thorough search of the system. In general, antiviruses use three types of detection techniques, namely:
Specific: checks for known malware by matching characteristics with the stored database of known malware.
Generic: checks for malware with having similar code base or code structure.
Heuristic: checks for unknown malware by searching for suspicious or unusual activities
After detecting the malware, antivirus software generally isolates or quarantines the infected file and subsequently removes it from the system.
Anti-Spywares work in the same way as antiviruses. They detect the spyware running on the system through rule-based algorithms and updated spyware definition files from the internet.
Once identified, they remove the Spyware by uninstallation.
In order to maintain a malware-free environment, the best strategy would be to take serious measures in regulating downloads and internet activity. Monitoring external inputs is also a good roadblock from malware which comes under good web development practices. For instance, organizations and institutions like universities monitor internet activity and restrict certain accesses to stop malware from even entering the system.