An Overview of Malware – SY0-601 CompTIA Security+ : 1.2

Malware comes in many types and forms. In this video, you’ll learn about malware types, methods, and the process that malware uses to infect your system.

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Malware is malicious software. It’s software that is going to do something that will probably have a negative impact on you. Very often, malware will be set up together information from your machine. It will collect keystrokes. It’ll collect information that’s on your screen. And it will send that information off to the attacker.

There is also malware that would cause your computer to be controlled by a third party. This is software that would turn your computer into a bot. And it would participate with a much larger group of computers called a botnet. There would then be a third party, the attacker, who would be able to control all of those systems and have those computers participate in a denial of service attack, visit different websites, or do whatever they would like your computer to do, because they’ve installed that malware on your system.

There is also malware that might show advertisements on your computer. And on every advertisement, some money goes back to the malware owner. If they can distribute this to a million different computers, then they can make quite a lot of money by simply adding malware to your system for advertising. And some of the worst malware these days is malware that might encrypt all of your private files on your computer and require you to pay to get the decryption key from the attacker.

In the next series of videos, we’ll look at many different types of malware. We’ll look at viruses and how they might differ from crypto-malware. We’ll also see how ransomware and crypto-malware are closely related.

We’ll investigate how worms can be used to transfer their malware from system to system without any type of human intervention. We’ll also talk about Trojan horses can fool you into installing malware on your own systems. You’ll also learn about rootkits, key loggers, adware and spyware, and botnets.

Malware can find itself onto our systems in many different ways. And once the malware begins the process of installing itself, it can use other types of malware to install other types of software on your computer. For example, your computer might be susceptible to a vulnerability that a worm might take advantage of. And the worm would then install some initial malware onto your computer. That malware might have a remote access back door that is then going to pull other software down to your computer and install additional software and malware on top of that.

There might even be a botnet included with that malware. So now once this worm has installed the malware, a botnet has been installed. And your computer now participates with all of the other computers that are in that botnet. That is just one of many different ways that malware can install itself and disrupt the normal operation of your computer.

There are many different ways that you can prevent the installation of malware. One is to never click a link inside of an email message. The malware authors will send you an email that looks legitimate and looks like it’s something you should be clicking, but instead, it’s going to download and install malware all because you click the link that’s in that email.

Malware authors will also use websites to embed their links and have pop-up messages to entice you to click those links and download the software so that they can then run that malware on your local computer. They might also use these web pages to automatically download software to your computer and then encourage you to run that software using a technique called a drive-by download. And if the operating system happens to have a vulnerability that might be exploited by a worm, this would be a common way to have malware installed onto your system. That’s why it’s so important to always maintain the latest security updates on your computer.

Vulnerabilities can also be found within the applications that run in your operating system. So make sure that you update not only the OS, but all of the applications running on that operating system as well.