When it comes to malicious software and how to counteract threats to our digital devices, we might consider ourselves reasonably clued up. Yet with savvy hackers finding more unusual ways of bypassing our anti-virus software – making us all more vulnerable as a result – staying up to date is crucial.
In our article, we discuss some lesser-known types of malware and the threat they pose, as well as how to protect your computer from unwanted intruders and keep your system safe.
As the name suggests, this type of software is designed to log keystrokes on a device. This data can be used to steal passwords, bank details and login information for websites. However, not all keylogger programs are used for malicious intent. They can be legitimately installed on a device owned by a business to track employee activity or by parents to monitor their children’s internet use.
A logic bomb is a particularly unpleasant type of code installed on a computer to corrupt data, delete files and disable hard drives. However, what sets it apart from other types of malware is that it requires a ‘trigger’ before it gets to work – this could be anything from a specific date to opening a particular file. Due to the nature of logic bombs, they are often hard to detect and can remain dormant on a network for years.
Short for ‘Robot Network’, a botnet refers to a network of computers that are centrally controlled and configured to perform certain tasks. Many botnets exist to make a system function correctly, though malicious botnets harness the power of large networks to wreak havoc. This type of malware will often crawl the internet like a spider looking for weak points in device security to infiltrate. Once it gains control of enough computers, it performs nefarious tasks, such as sending out spam to thousands of users, generating fake traffic for financial gain, even shutting down websites. These tasks often run in the background of a hijacked computer, so the user is oblivious to what is happening.
Rootkits are dangerous bundles of system tools which when installed on your computer, can override admin controls, disable anti-virus software and allow other malware to enter through the backdoor. These rootkits are often installed through Trojan horse programs and gradually start to exert control over your computer.
Tips for protecting yourself from malware
Despite the increasingly sophisticated ways hackers are attempting to access computers, there are still things you can do to protect yourself. Even basic do’s and don’ts can be very effective.
- Open any email attachments from an unknown or untrusted source
- Download software from an unofficial website
- Save your login details to your computer
- Turn off your anti-virus or firewall protection
- Click on pop-up adverts about improving your computer performance
- Install an anti-virus and firewall program
- Regularly perform software and security updates
- Pay attention to any warnings when you attempt to visit a website
- Scan any external drives for viruses before opening any new files
- Contact a company directly if you have any doubts about the legitimacy of an email
Are you concerned about malware? PC Computers are on hand to help you with any malware issues you are facing. We run diagnostic tests and can remove malware from your device – giving you peace of mind that your privacy and data are safe.