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Different types of malware

 
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Different types of malware

Hi all!

I came across this article in my email box this moring and i thought it'd interest you all. It's an interesting summary of all the malware out there...There's 12 types, and Panda protects you against them all...Anyway, enough of the selfless promotion, check out the article:

Malware: Computing's Dirty Dozen

By Joel Walsh

It seems that no sooner do you feel safe turning on your computer than you hear on the news about a new kind of internet security threat. Usually, the security threat is some kind of malware (though the term "security threat" no doubt sells more newspapers).


What is malware? Malware is exactly what its name implies: mal (meaning bad, in the sense of malignant or malicious rather than just poorly done) + ware (short for software). More specifically, malware is software that does not benefit the computer's owner, and may even harm it, and so is purely parasitic.

The Many Faces of Malware

According to Wikipedia, there are in fact eleven distinct types of malware, and even more sub-types of each.



1. Viruses. The malware that's on the news so much, even your grandmother knows what it is. You probably already have heard plenty about why this kind of software is bad for you, so there's no need to belabor the point.



2. Worms. Slight variation on viruses. The difference between viruses and worms is that viruses hide inside the files of real computer programs (for instance, the macros in Word or the VBScript in many other Microsoft applications), while worms do not infect a file or program, but rather stand on their own.



3. Wabbits. Be honest: had you ever even heard of wabbits before (outside of Warner Bros. cartoons)? According to Wikipedia, wabbits are in fact rare, and it's not hard to see why: they don't do anything to spread to other machines. A wabbit, like a virus, replicates itself, but it does not have any instructions to email itself or pass itself through a computer network in order to infect other machines. The least ambitious of all malware, it is content simply to focus on utterly devastating a single machine.



4. Trojans. Arguably the most dangerous kind of malware, at least from a social standpoint. While Trojans rarely destroy computers or even files, that's only because they have bigger targets: your financial information, your computer's system resources, and sometimes even massive denial-of-service attack launched by having thousands of computers all try to connect to a web server at the same time.



5. Spyware. In another instance of creative software naming, spyware is software that spies on you, often tracking your internet activities in order to serve you advertising. (Yes, it's possible to be both adware and spyware at the same time.)
6. Backdoors. Backdoors are much the same as Trojans or worms, except that they do something different: they open a "backdoor" onto a computer, providing a network connection for hackers or other malware to enter or for viruses or sp@m to be sent out through.




7. Exploits. Exploits attack specific security vulnerabilities. You know how Microsoft is always announcing new updates for its operating system? Often enough the updates are really trying to close the security hole targeted in a newly discovered exploit.



8. Rootkit. The malware most likely to have a human touch, rootkits are installed by crackers (bad hackers) on other people's computers. The rootkit is designed to camouflage itself in a system's core processes so as to go undetected. It is the hardest of all malware to detect and therefore to rem÷ve; many experts recommend completely wiping your hard drive and reinstalling everything fresh.



9. Keyloggers. No pr´ze for guessing what this software does: yes, it logs your keystrokes, i.e., what you type. Typically, the malware kind of keyloggers (as opposed to keyloggers deliberately installed by their owners to use in diagnosing computer problems) are out to log sensitive information such as passwords and financial details.



10. Dialers. Dialers dial telephone numbers via your computer's modem. Like keyloggers, they're only malware if you don't want them. Dialers either dial expensive premium-rate telephone numbers, often located in small countries far from the host computer; or, they dial a hacker's machine to transmit stolen data.



11. URL injectors. This software "injects" a given URL in place of certain URLs when you try to visit them in your browser. Usually, the injected URL is an aff´liate link to the target URL. An aff´liate link is a special link used to track the traff´c an aff´liate (advertiser) has sent to the original website, so that the original website can pay commissions on any salŰs from that traff´c.



12. Adware. The least dangerous and most lucrative malware (lucrative for its distributors, that is). Adware displays ads on your computer. The Wikipedia entry on malware does not give adware its own category even though adware is commonly called malware. As Wikipedia notes, adware is often a subset of spyware. The implication is that if the user chooses to allow adware on his or her machine, it's not really malware, which is the defense that most adware companies take. In reality, however, the choice to install adware is usually a lŰgal farce involving placing a mention of the adware somewhere in the installation materials, and often only in the licensing agreement, which hardly anyone reads.

Are you ready to take on this dirty dozen? Don't go it alone. Make sure you have at least one each of antivirus and antispyware.

About The Author
Joel Walsh writes for spyware-refuge.com about malware removal

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Quote:
Are you ready to take on this dirty dozen? Don't go it alone. Make sure you have at least one each of antivirus and antispyware.
you are supposed to have only ONE type of antivirus, antispyware and firewall protection. Instead of giving extra protection, it decreases the reliability of it seriously.

no offence
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According to who? Got any links on this issue?
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This is not the case. Many people run more than one virus scanner for added protection; in the case of TruPrevent for example Panda actually recommended that people use it to bolster their current solution. It is rare that virus scanners interfere with each other these days [for the top titles at least].
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sijiazhao
you are supposed to have only ONE type of antivirus, antispyware and firewall protection
I've found just the opposite to be true. It seems there is no one solution that effectively protects your computer from all threats. I use two different realtime programs to monitor my computer and prevent infection.
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I have two, too.
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I have one of each running (anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall protection).

I do have additional scanners, but do not load them automatically, and will only run them occasionally, or after my kids use the computer. I see no reason to clog up resources with more than one of each.
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I only run one that does everything and I never have any computer problems.
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My son used my laptop last week (without my permission). I found my computer was hit with a VUNDO worm (aka Virtuemonde) - the toughest virus challenge I ever had. It would create new dlls every half an hour or so, so I was contantly getting virus alerts and then deleting the files. I was protected from any harm by the anti-virus software, but could not get rid of the worm. I tried 4 different scanners, and none of them could find the root of the problem. Spent 3 days running scans, going into safe mode and running scans, turning network on and off, and trying other fixes. No luck.

So I finally tried HiJackThis, and from there I could pretty much SEE the offending file.
Downloaded f-vonde from f-secure.com and it killed the worm in 5 seconds.

Since I run Spybot Search and Destroy, I never would have gotten the infection myself and you have needed to grant permission for the registry change. Obviously, my son allowed that to happen.

Needless to say, he's now "banned" from my laptop
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Sounds nasty Afilyit. Defiintely a good example on why relying on one solution will likely not save you in all instances.
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