Basic understanding of harmful Computer infection

1) Spyware A form of malware that is often associated with browser hijacking, keyloggers, and recording / sending web browsing habits to a 3rd party. Spyware is one of the most common forms of malware, and often slows the performance of your computer. Spyware infections occur from clicking on pop-up ads and Bad Links, in a Payload, by visiting certain malicious web sites, or can be bundled with other applications.

2) Keylogger is a malicious program that records keystrokes. Often, a keylogger also keeps track of visited web sites, and time-stamps when you visit, as well as what keys you type. More advanced keyloggers can limit their recordings to certain prompts / fields (like the user-name and password boxes) and for only ‘secure’ web sites (like your bank or EBay etc.) Since the keylogger records information as you type it, as opposed to intercepting it when you submit information on a web page, the information is unencrypted even from secure web sites. Keyloggers are one of the most dangerous forms of malware (due to identity theft), and therefore it is recommended that if you find one, immediately unplug your ethernet / modem cable, back up your important files, and reformat.

3) Trojan / Trojan Horse is malicious program that masquerades as a legitimate application or file. A common example can be a fake music or picture file in a e-mail attachment. Trojan infections normally open a Backdoor and/or ‘drop’ a payload. This ‘dropped’ payload is often a virus that infects your computer.

4) Malware malicious software (mal-ware) is a form of computer program designed with malicious intent. This intent may be to cause annoying pop-up ads with the hope you click on one and generate revenue, or forms of spyware and viruses that can be used to steal your identity or track your activities.

5) Backdoor normally installed by a virus or worm, a backdoor is a alternate method of accessing a system. For example, a virus can install a backdoor to give a hacker access to your computer.

6) Adware a form of Malware normally consisting of ‘pop-up’ and other advertisements.

7) Virus is a program or programming code that replicates by being copied or initiating its copying to another program, computer boot sector or document. Viruses can be transmitted as attachments to an e-mail note or in a downloaded file, or be present on a diskette or CD. The immediate source of the e-mail note, downloaded file, or diskette you’ve received is usually unaware that it contains a virus. Some viruses wreak their effect as soon as their code is executed; other viruses lie dormant until circumstances cause their code to be executed by the computer. Some viruses are benign or playful in intent and effect (“Happy Birthday, Ludwig!”) and some can be quite harmful, erasing data or causing your hard disk to require reformatting. A virus that replicates itself by resending itself as an e-mail attachment or as part of a network message is known as a worm. Generally, there are three main classes of viruses: File infectors. Some file infector viruses attach themselves to program files, usually selected .COM or .EXE files. Some can infect any program for which execution is requested, including .SYS, .OVL, .PRG, and .MNU files. When the program is loaded, the virus is loaded as well. Other file infector viruses arrive as wholly-contained programs or scripts sent as an attachment to an e-mail note.

Is your computer free fromĀ malicious programs? It is likely thatĀ 9 out of 10 computers will get one of the above malicious programs. If you go online, chatting, email, use handy drive / thumb drive, downloading, sharing files, your computer is one of the potential victims.

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