How Computer Viruses / Malware Attack?
users are facing all sorts of security threats these days, computer viruses,
computer worms, hackers, phishing, spyware. Almost every computer is
challenged by more than one type of malicious attack each day. Knowing how
these malicious programs spread and work can help you avoid potential damage
to your computer.
How Malware Attack
viruses, worms, and Trojan horses are collectively known as malware. They
spread on the internet via email, instant messages and file sharing.
Computer viruses need a host program to run whereas computer worms are
self-contained. Both can replicate and spread in enormous rate over the
viruses usually cause damage to boot sector, system BIOS, software or data
files. Your system may fail to start, legitimate programs cannot run and
data files are lost or corrupted.
worms are usually designed to spread automatically via email program,
causing major disruption of internet traffic. Some worms can create back
door to allow authorized access to your computer.
horses usually do not replicate, they appear as some innocent programs, such
as free games or free screensavers. This tricks you into downloading and
running the Trojan horse. Trojan horses can open a back door, disable
antivirus program and allow the download of other malware.
computer users who explore networks and computers, looking for
vulnerabilities and infiltrate your system without your knowledge and
permission. Some people argue that hackers may not have malicious intent,
they are just curious about how computer network works. Nevertheless,
unauthorized access to someoneís computer or network is not a moral act.
hackers gain access to your computer via different ways. For examples,
hackers may use keystroke logger to record your every stroke, giving them
enough information to infiltrate your system. They may hack your password
by generating different combinations of numbers, letters and symbols.
Hackers also search for unprotected network or enter your system via a back
door installed previously by other malware.
How Spyware Attack
usually downloaded from web sites, email messages, instant messages or file
sharing network. Some legitimate programs may install spyware in your
computer when you accept the End User License Agreement. Spyware does
exactly what its name suggests: it spies on you by collecting personal or
sensitive information or tracking your browsing and shopping habit. Some
programs can change your web browser's home page or
additional components to your browser
without your consent.
result in identity theft, computer slowdown and slow internet access.
Spyware should not be confused with adware. Adware is a program that
displays advertisements, usually in the form of pop up ads. Strictly
speaking, adware is not spyware if no personal information and browsing
habit is collected. It is a way for some software developers to reimburse
their development cost by providing freeware to their customers.
is the electronic form of junk mail. Most spam messages are unsolicited
advertising sent to a large number of recipients. Spam messages are not
only annoying, some of them are dangerous. Some spam messages are used to
deliver Trojan horses, viruses, spyware or links to offensive web sites with
A new form
of spam message is used to launch phishing attack. Phishers, pretending to
be legitimate companies such as banks, financial institutes, PayPal, send
out spam messages to a large number of recipients. They usually use scare
tactic and ask you to update your personal information (login ID and
password, account information, etc) immediately or your account will be
suspended. Once you click on the link provided in the spam messages, you
would land on phish sites which look remarkably similar to the legitimate
company web sites where the phishers will steal your personal information.
you know how malware, spyware, hackers and spam attack your computer, you
can be more proactive in your defense. Be careful of free download, free
scan, email attachment, file sharing and donít click on the hyperlink of
spam messages. Read the End User agreement carefully when you install any
software. Keep track of unusual inbound and outbound internet activities.
If you do all of these and install an all-in-one internet security program
(antivirus, antispyware, firewall, spam control), you should be pretty safe
from these malicious attacks.