N/APosted on - 05/23/2011
I have some experience with the computer and different Antivirus software. I have seen different terms are used in those software's. I know a bit about Antivirus, but I have seen the term Malware, spyware, Spam etc.
Is used to differentiate those threats. But how can I define a threat as Malware or Spyware, or Spam. What is the basic difference of them why are those names used?
I have no idea of those names so I want someone to clarify why are those names used to define the threats. It's very important to know because some time we don't understand their differences and can delete any necessary file what could be saved.
So to save important files its really necessary to understand the threat level.
I hope for a detailed answer which can explain those terms and their differences clearly.
What is Malware, Virus,spyware and spam??
I know that with so many kinds of malicious programs out there, they can be confusing.
Identifying them is a good way to know what you are dealing with in order to get the right remedy.
Here are the kinds of Malware, Spam and other malicious programs and their definition:
Malware – Is short for Malicious Software. These software are, but not limited to, viruses, scripts, active contents, worms, Trojans and spyware. It basically refers to any kind of program that is designed to disrupt, corrupt, exploit, collect data and other abusive behaviors.
The Computer Virus – The computer virus is a computer program designed to duplicate itself and damage the computer or exploit it. A true computer virus attaches itself to an executable program (infected program), wherein if that program runs, the virus runs too. It spreads itself by human actions through sharing or transferring of files with the use of internet, network, flash drives, DVD, CD, disks and other removable media.
The Computer Worm – The computer worm is sometimes considered to be classified as a kind of computer virus because it also has the ability to replicate itself but on a much bigger number. And unlike the computer virus, it does not need to attach itself to a program nor a human action to spread. A worm searches for security vulnerabilities and with that, it is able to send hundreds if not thousands of copies of itself through shared folders in a network, email and other means.
The Trojan Horse – This one is a traitor. It first poses as a useful program, once installed or run, it will run a script in the background (without being noticed) which can steal information like passwords or do damage to the system. Like the wooden horse in the Greek Mythology where it was named after, it is equally destructive.
Spyware and keyloggers – This type of malicious coding is usually not designed to damage the computer. Spyware attaches themselves to operating systems or is unknowingly installed. Once operational it monitors and records the user’s keystrokes, internet surfing habits, etc. Then these logs are sent via email to the attacker. Some Spyware also changes computer settings, home pages, and redirects users to certain websites, etc.
Adware – Short for Advertising supported software is usually bundled to programs you install on your computer. This kind of software, like some spyware, changes your home page, displays pop-up ads, redirects you to certain websites, etc. Adware is actually harmless but annoying. However, some of them may come with any of the above types of Malware.
Rootkits – This Malware operates in a root level access which means it’s already activated even before your computer’s operating system boots up, making it difficult to be detected by an Antivirus. Rootkits hide itself by changing the system making it look like a function with administrator rights or a part of the operating system. Rootkits allow remote access of an attacker, or do the same things as a spyware does.
Spam – Is basically an unsolicited email. Spam mails are normally used for advertising products and making money. However, there are also plenty of Spam mails that contain any or a combination of the above Malware for stealing information.
Always update – Always install updates for your computer and the applications you have. Believe it or not, there are plenty of flaws in computer programs. Take for example, some applications like Adobe Photoshop that has security vulnerabilities which have been used by attackers. Security updates from Microsoft are also important updates to avoid any of the Malware mentioned above.
Protect yourself – Having only an Antivirus is not enough. The best type of protection will be having a combination of security applications like having a good Antivirus + an anti malware + a start-up scanner. Since there is not a single Antivirus that can catch all types of Malware, this combination ensures that you’ll be protected in all aspects.
Sample combo installation: Kaspersky Internet Security + Malwarebyte’s Antimalware + Start-up Monitor.