What are they?
Viruses, worms, Trojans, and bots are all part of a class of software called "malware." Malware is short for "malicious software," also known as malicious code or "malcode." It is code or software that is specifically designed to damage, disrupt, steal, or in general inflict some other "bad" or illegitimate action on data, hosts, or networks.
A type of malware that can threaten to make your private information public, or lock your system, making it unusable. Requires the user to pay a ransom payment to remove.
A computer virus copies itself into your computer and can spread form one computer to another.Virus can damage data and software. A lot of viruses are attached to an executable file and can be dormant until opened.
Worms are similar to viruses but are standalone software and do not require a host program or human help to spread. More advanced worms leverage encryption, wipers, and ransomware technologies to harm their targets.
A Trojan named after the wooden horse that the Greeks used to infiltrate Troy. It is a harmful piece of software that looks legitimate. After it is activated, it can cause irritating pop-up windows, change desktops, delete files, steal data, or activate and spreading other malware.
Trojans are also known to create backdoors to give malicious users access to the system. A trojan infection is usually caused by opening an email attachment or downloading and running a file from the Internet.
A malicious bot is self-spreading malware designed to infect a host and connect back another server that act as a command and control centre for an entire network of compromised devices, creating a "botnet."
Bots can include the ability to log keystrokes, gather passwords, capture, gather financial information, launch Denial of Service (DOS) Attacks, relay scams, and open backdoors on the infected host. Advanced botnets may take advantage of common smart devices such as home electronics or appliances to increase automated attacks.
Adware is a form of malware that hides on your device and serves you advertisements. Some adware also monitors your behaviour online so it can target you with specific ads.
How do you protect yourself?
- Don’t download applications from third-party download sites.
- Don’t click on online ads to download applications and do use ad-blocking software.
- Don’t download and install applications from peer to peer networks – you never know who has changed the files.
- Don’t click on links in emails or instant messages or execute attachments unless you are sure they are legitimate. Use an email filter to protect yourself from malicious messages.
- Don’t install applications received from contacts, say via email or USB sticks, without scanning them with your anti-virus application first.
Other useful links:
Malware & Ransomware
Australian Cyber Security Centre