Here’s a Malware Refresher

Security threats are commonplace in the
business environment, as any organization that turns a profit is sure to hold
valuable data that is of use to criminals. Some people have an easier time
identifying threats than others, but with so many different types of threats
out there, it’s no wonder that some have trouble handling these scenarios. Here
is a guide on some of the more common types of malware, as well as what you
should do to avoid a dangerous run-in with it.

If you want to make the most out of this
guide, it helps to print this out.


A computer virus is the most recognized form
of malware. A virus is a malicious piece of code that can replicate itself and
distribute itself without the person who created it getting involved. Viruses
can be devastating threats when utilized by those who know how to make the most
of them, and they aren’t limited by industries or business sizes. Viruses can
often be attached to files and applications that the victim is supposed to


Worms are yet another self-replicating threat
that have been around for longer than viruses. When a system gets infected, a
worm can create situations where additional malware can be transferred into the
system, as well as further problems with the system memory. Communications can
be cut, too, making it a dangerous situation to be in. Email is the primary
method of spreading these worms, and anyone who clicks on the wrong email
attachment could spread it to an entire network.


Spyware can be used by criminals to bypass a
system’s security by monitoring the user’s actions, recording credentials, and
browsing their behaviors. Keyloggers are perhaps the most well-known spyware
variant, as they can record a user’s keystrokes to steal credentials and other
critical data. Spyware is also known to use up valuable CPU resources to make
computers even more vulnerable to threats.


Adware is malware that can trick users into
clicking on it thinking they are legitimate ads. In reality, they are forced
advertisements that redirect users to malicious websites or malicious


Criminals can even hide their attacks behind
legitimate advertising networks. They might pay for ad space and hide code
within the ad, forcing users to go to a malicious site. These malicious sites
can install malware on the user’s system and run scripts that turn devices into
cryptomining puppets. Some might even install Trojans or ransomware for further

Trojan Horse

A Trojan Horse threat can hide malware in
legitimate programs, and they are so easy to pull off that even a novice hacker
can do it. Once the user activates the threat, the payload is delivered, making
the situation even worse.


Ransomware can target businesses, healthcare
organizations, municipalities, and individual users with the threat of losing
access to critical data and information. Ransomware encrypts data that is found
on the infected system, effectively locking the user from accessing infected
files. The user must then pay a ransom using cryptocurrency to receive the
decryption key. Many victims pay the fine, but never actually receive the key,
making this method of recovery unreliable at best. We recommend having a chat
with a trusted IT resource to prevent this from becoming an issue for your

Logic Bomb

The logic bomb is what boils down to a digital
landmine that sits in your system until something triggers it. A logic bomb can
damage a computer and put stress on physical components, overworking hardware
and causing hard drives or cooling fans to overheat.


A backdoor allows criminals to access a device
at a later date, providing an outlet to cause even more damage in the long run.
The idea is to use another threat as a distraction to allow the backdoor to
install, meaning they are most effective against users that let their guard


A rootkit gives hackers the ability to create
a backdoor. Hackers can then modify systems using software vulnerabilities,
paving the way forward for hacking attacks.


A botnet is a network comprised of infected
devices that can perform a task as instructed by a cybercriminal. Botnets can
be as large as hundreds of thousands of devices, and these devices can vary
from smartphones to Internet of Things devices. The collective power of these
bots can bring down even the most powerful networks.

Fileless Malware

Fileless malware is gaining traction, and
since it can manipulate a device’s random access memory, or RAM, it can spread
using encryption keys and APIs to create problems with user privileges and
admin tools.

If you’re not sure how to proceed with protecting your business, Emerge can help. To learn more, reach out to us at 859-746-1030.