Malware (Malicious Software)

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Malware is a harmful computer programme that disrupts computer operation. It can also be used to gain unauthorized access to computer systems and access sensitive information. It is a general term used to describe any kind of software or code specifically designed to exploit a computer, or the data it contains without consent.

The most commonly known malware is the VIRUS. People who knew less about malware call all types of malicious programmes as Virus. The Virus is not the only one; there are other threats like TROJAN HORSE, WORMS, SPYWARE, ADWARE, ZOMBIE etc. and all these types of programmes work differently.

Malwares are mostly created by computer hackers, people with advanced understanding of computers and computer networks. They could use these malwares for malicious reasons or to break into computers connected to a network sort of.

Sources of malware:

  • Malicious websites
  • Most free downloads from the web
  • Adware (advertising software)
  • Email attachments
  • File sharing
  • Installing untrusted applications
  • Cracked software

Symptoms of malware infection:

  • Reduction in computer performance
  • Unexpected crashes
  • Anti-virus software disabled
  • Unfamiliar error messages
  • Missing files
  • Some applications not responding
  • Pop-up advertisements

Preventing Malware Infection:

  • Run up-to-date security software (anti-virus)
  • Always get latest software updates
  • Understand how malware works
  • Scan removable media drives before using
  • Regular scanning of your device with your Anti-Virus software
  • Secure your network
  • Don’t use open Wi-Fi
  • Think before you click…

Computer Hacking

In the computer security context, a Hacker is someone who seeks and exploits weaknesses in a computer system or computer network. Hackers may be motivated by a multitude of reasons, such as profit, protest, challenge, enjoyment, or to evaluate those weaknesses to assist in removing them. While other uses of the word hacker exist that are related to computer security, such as referring to someone with an advanced understanding of computers and computer networks, but the term is rarely used in a positive manner.

In this controversy, the term hacker is reclaimed by computer programmers who argue that someone who breaks into computers, whether computer criminal (black hats) or computer security expert (white hats), is more appropriately called a cracker instead.

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