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What is Malware? - Towards Cybersecurity

In this article, I am discussing what is Malware. So, Let's begin.

Malware is short for malicious software. Malware is an umbrella term that describes any malicious program or code that is harmful to systems, smartphones, or any digital devices.

What is Malware? - Towards Cybersecurity

Malware refers to various forms of harmful software such as spyware, ransomware, viruses, and worms. Once it is in your system, it can take control of your machine, to monitoring your keystrokes and actions, to silently sending all sorts of confidential data from your computer or network to the hacker.

Malware is different from normal programs in a way that most of them have the ability to spread itself in the network, remain undetectable, cause changes/damages to the infected system or network continuously. They have the ability to bring down the system's performance to knees and can cause the destruction of the network.

Although malware can't damage the physical hardware of systems or networks, it can encrypt, steal, modify or delete your sensitive data or hijack core computer functions, and spy on your computer activity without your knowledge or permission.

Once malware inside the system, it can do the following :
  • Install malware or additional harmful and malicious software
  • Provide remote control for an attacker to use an infected machine
  • Send spam from the infected machine to unsuspecting targets
  • Investigate the infected user's local network
  • Block access to your machine (Ransomware)
  • Steal sensitive and personal information

Hackers will use a variety of methods to get malware into your computer or smartphones but at some stage, it often requires the user to take action against the installation of malware. This includes clicking a link to download a file or opening an attachment that may look harmless (like a Word document or PDF attachment), but actually has a malware installer hidden within.

Actually, Malware has been a threat to individuals and organizations since the early 1970s when the Creeper virus first appeared. Since then, the world has been under attack from thousands of different malware variants, all with the intent of causing the most disruption and damage as possible.

I hope you find useful information in this article. If you have any questions related to malware then please mention in the comments section and I will get back to you and stay tuned with my blog to learn interesting things related to cybersecurity and hacking.


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