Types of Viruses

Adware: Adware is among the most troublesome of computer threats. It can hide in places such as downloads for songs, movies, etc. Once installed on your computer, adware creates a flurry of advertisements and sends them directly to your computer. They can embed even more advertisements within the text of articles.

Direct Action: Direct action viruses begin their work as soon as they are installed on your computer. Typically, direct action viruses are designed to immediately activate/replicate when someone performs a specific action on a computer.

Directory: As its name would suggest, a directory virus attacks your computer by infiltrating its directory. (In computer terminology, a directory is just any big computer file that contains several smaller sub-files.) Typically, it will infect files with .EXE for PC's or .DMG for Mac extensions. Invisible to the user, a directory virus changes the host file so that the virus activates with the host file.

File Infector: File infectors are a classic virus; when someone refers to a generic virus, they are probably discussing these. These viruses spread from program to program by seeking out files to infect and then copying code into those files. Eventually, if left unchecked, file infectors can take over an entire system by compromising all of its files.

Hijacker: Hijacker viruses alter your Internet browser settings, typically in order to force your browser to redirect you to a page specified by the virus. These redirect pages are usually designed to advertise a product or drum up publicity for something/someone. They also alter the home page of your browser, spam you with unwanted advertisements, and block you from viewing Internet content.

Keylogger: Keyloggers place hidden software on your computer. This software keeps track of your keystrokes and takes note of the passwords you enter. Depending on what accounts you have, this can give hackers access to all kinds of private information.

Macro: Macro viruses contaminate individual programs on your computer. When a macro virus infects a program, it triggers a series of actions that will happen whenever someone runs the program.

Malware: Malware is any computer code that is designed to infiltrate a computer and damage it or its content.

Phishing Scam: Phishing occurs when you receive an email from a seemingly legitimate source asking for personal information like your Social Security Number or credit card number. Legitimate companies will never solicit this kind of information via email. If you receive an email asking for this information, delete the email immediately and report it to the IT Service Desk. This is one of the most prevalent techniques used by hackers to steal your information, money, or data. Always be vigilant for spam messages. 

Ransomware: One of the most devastating or alarming forms of an attack. Bad actors can literally steal the data belonging to you on your device, work or school account, and hold is ransom from you. Most times, the ransom must be paid in a form of money (gift cards, Venmo, or Paypal). Good cyber practices can protect you from ransomware. Most modern antivirus programs will offer you protection against ransomware. And these antivirus companies are spending time and energy to find ways to better protect against evolving ransomware attacks. 

Spam: The term "spam" refers to emails sent with the intent of advertising something or getting you to click a link. At their best, spam emails are simply nuisances that clutter your inbox, and they can be dealt with by dragging-and-dropping the message into the recycle bin. At their worst, they can promote illegal products/activities or conceal malware.

Spyware: Spyware is a form of malware that spies on your computer use. Spyware can take screen shots, capture data such as passwords and usernames, and collect other personal information. Keyloggers are just one example of spyware.

Trojan Horse: A Trojan horse is a virus that hides inside of something to make itself look enticing and appealing.

Virus: A virus is a type of malware that is designed to replicate and spread.

Worm: A worm is a form of virus that can copy itself and spread from computer to computer. It is not downloaded or attached to any one program; rather, it tunnels through computer networks in order to spread.

Check out the articles Antivirus Software Tips and Mac Viruses & Tips.

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Article ID: 11761
Mon 10/24/22 4:34 PM
Tue 2/21/23 1:56 PM

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