Check other parts here:
- Know Your Enemy
- Types of Network Damage
- Why in the heck do I get attacked?
- Malware Part 1
- Malware Part 2
- Botnets Part 1
- Botnets Part 2
It is part three of the Malware course. In part one, we have identified malware as the umbrella term. This is a big catchall phrase that covers all sorts of software with nasty intent. In part two, we talked about how malware will reach you [Delivery Methods]. In this part, we will talk about some of the [Actions] that malware will do once you get infected. This is the interesting part !
Spyware: Steals Your Information
It is malicious computer program that does exactly what its name implies -i.e., spies on you. After downloading itself onto your computer either through an email you opened, website you visited or a program you downloaded, spyware scans your hard drive for personal information and your internet browsing habits.
Some spyware programs contain keyloggers that will record personal data you enter in to websites, such as your log on usernames and passwords, email addresses, browsing history, online buying habits, your computer’s hardware and software configurations, your name, age and sex, as well as sensitive banking and credit information.
Some spyware can interfere with your computer’s system settings, which can result in a slower internet connection.
Since spyware is primarily meant to make money at your expense, it doesn’t usually kill your PC—in fact, many people have spyware running without even realizing it, but generally those that have one spyware application installed also have a dozen more. Once you’ve got that many pieces of software spying on you, your PC is going to become slow.
Scareware: Holds Your PC for Ransom !!
Sometime it is called Ransomware.
Lately a very popular way for Internet criminals to make money. This malware alters your system in such a way that you’re unable to get into it normally. It will then display some kind of screen that demands some form of payment to have the computer unlocked. Access to your computer is literally ransomed by the cyber-criminal.
Sometime the user is tricked into downloading what appears to be an antivirus application, which then proceeds to tell you that your PC is infected with hundreds of viruses, and can only be cleaned if you pay for a full license. Of course, these scareware applications are nothing more than malware that hold your PC hostage until you pay the ransom—in most cases, you can’t or even use the PC.
Ransomware can be Lock Screen type (locks your computer until you pay), or Encryption type, which will encrypt your files with a password until you pay.
The most famous malware of this type is the “FBI MoneyPak”. It will lock your screen saying that you break some copyright laws or visited unauthorized pages, and you need to pay the FBI money to unlock your PC. Really smart !!
Adware: We will get you some Advertisements
Adware is any software that, once installed on your computer, tracks your internet browsing habits and sends you popups containing advertisements related to the sites and topics you’ve visited. While this type of software may sound innocent, and even helpful, it consumes and slows down your computer’s processor and internet connection speed. Additionally, some adware has keyloggers and spyware built into the program, leading to greater damage to your computer and possible invasion of your private data.