IT 101 – Attacks Using Malware
Welcome to IT 101, where the experts at 2W Tech will tackle a hot topic in the IT industry and break it down for educational purposes.
Not all cybercrimes are created equal, so you should know how your IT infrastructure can be attacked so you know how to defend yourself. This knowledge also comes in handy in the unfortunate event of a breach.
First up: malware.
Malware is a software that enters a computer system without the user’s knowledge or consent and then performs an unwanted and usually harmful action. Malware uses a threat vector to deliver a malicious “payload” that performs a harmful function once it is invoked.
However, malware is most often used as a general term that refers to a wide variety of damaging software programs. As security defenses have emerged, so have different types of malware. The four main traits viruses are classified under are circulation, infection, concealment and payload capabilities.
Circulation/infection malware include viruses, worms and Trojans. While a viruses is akin to those that affect biological organisms, a worm is a malicious program that uses a computer network to replicate. It is designed to enter a computer operating system on the host computer. Once the worm has exploited the vulnerability on one system, it immediately searches for another computer on the network that has the same vulnerability.
Trojans – like the Trojan horse that took out Troy of Greek mythology – is an executable program that masquerades as performing a benign activity but also does something malicious.
Concealment malware most commonly comes with the installment of a rootkit on a device. Rootkits change the operating system to force it to ignore their malicious files or activities while also hiding or removing all evidence that may reveal the malware.
The primary payload capabilities are to collect data, delete data, modify system security settings and launch attacks. Spyware is one type of payload capability, which secretly spies on users by collecting information without their consent. Adware delivers advertising content that is unexpected and unwanted by the user. Ransomware, one of the fastest-growing and newest types of malware, prevents a user’s device from properly operating until a fee is paid.
Keeping your company secure is important, so let the experts help you. Contact 2W Tech today if you need help with your IT security strategy and ongoing protection plan.