What’s A Malware Attack?

A malware attack is a frequent cyberattack where malware (normally malicious applications ) implements unauthorized actions on the victim’s system. The malicious software (a.k.a. virus) encompasses many specific kinds of attacks like ransomware, spyware, command and control, and much more.

Criminal organizations, state actors, as well as well-known businesses are accused of (and, sometimes, captured ) deploying malware.

A good example of a famous malware attack is that the WannaCry ransomware attack. Objectives

Malware is made with a goal in mind. While it might be said that the objective is”limited only to the imagination of its creator,” this will concentrate on a few of the most common objectives observed in malware.

Exfiltrate Information
Stealing information, credentials, payment information, etc. is a recurring theme in the domain of cybercrime. Malware focused on this sort of theft can be extremely expensive to an individual, business, or government goal that falls prey.

Disrupt Operations
Actively working to”cause problems” for a goal’s performance is another objective seen in malware. There is also the situation where contaminated systems are directed to perform large-scale distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks.

Malware concept with male person using smartphone, low key red and blue lit image and digital glitch effect

Demand Payment
Some malware is focused on directly extorting cash from the target. Scareware utilizes empty threats (ones that are unsubstantiated and/or could not really be carried out) to”frighten” the goal into paying some cash. Ransomware is a sort of malware that tries to prevent a goal from accessing their information (usually by encrypting files on the target) before the goal”pays up” While there’s disagreement over whether victims of ransomware should or shouldn’t cover, it’s become enough of a threat that some businesses have preemptively bought Bitcoin just in case they get hit with ransomware and opt to pay the ransom.

Kinds of Malware Attack Vectors

Trojan Horse: This is a program that seems to be something (e.g. a sport, a helpful program, etc.) but is actually a delivery mechanism for malware.

Virus: A virus is a sort of self-propagating malware that infects other programs/files (or even parts of the operating system and/or hard disk ) of a goal via code injection. This behavior of malware propagation through injecting itself into present software/data is a differentiator between a virus and a trojan horse (that has purposely constructed malware to one specific application and doesn’t make efforts to infect other people).

Worm: Malware designed to propagate itself to other systems is a pig. While virus and trojan horse malware are localized to an infected target system, a worm actively works to infect different targets (sometimes with no interaction on the user’s benefit). Even though a few are admittedly academic, many attack vectors are good at sabotaging their targets.

Best Practices against Malware Attacks
The following best practices can help prevent a malware attack from succeeding and/or mitigate the harm done by a malware attack.

Constant User Education
Training users on best practices for preventing malware (i.e. do not download and run unknown applications, do not blindly insert “found media” in your computer), in addition to how to recognize possible malware. Periodic, exercises, such as intentional phishing, can help keep users aware and observant.

Use Reputable A/V Program
When installed, a suitable A/V solution will detect (and remove) any present malware on a system, in addition, to monitor for and mitigate possible malware installation or activity while the machine is operating. It will be important to keep it up-to-date with the seller’s latest definitions/signatures.