Users are increasingly worried about cyber attacks, but not all viruses are the same. Let's see which are the most dangerous ones
With the recent large-scale cyber attacks, such as WannaCry, the main fear of users nowadays is to see their computer fall into the hands of a cyber criminal. However, it must be said that there are viruses and viruses.
Not all malware acts equally. There are those that exploit other programs to evade antivirus and therefore they can act without us noticing. There are those, like ransomware, that lock up all of our data and demand a ransom to get it back. And then there are viruses like keyloggers that control what we type on the keyboard to steal the credentials and passwords to our bank accounts or email accounts. And they can gain access to our social profiles, too. Here are the six most dangerous types of malware currently known.
Boot Sector Virus
In computer science, the term boot sector refers to the startup information used by any operating system. Boot sector viruses acted during the computer's start-up phase and were destructive for the machine. Luckily, we can use the past tense of the verb because this kind of malware is not widespread anymore. They were used in the past when computers still started up with floppy disks.
Trojans are very up-to-date. There are different families of this malware and different ways through which this virus spreads. Trojans mostly hide on malicious files that the user downloads from the Web, but they can also be found on links and attachments in emails. Almost always when installing a Trojan, we will start to see pushy advertisements on our PC. Toolbars will be installed automatically and the home page of our web browser will be changed. But there are also better structured Trojans that can steal our data, cause continuous computer errors, spread our information on the Internet or open continuous web pages automatically. There are three ways to protect yourself against Trojans: never download files from untrusted sites, pay close attention to the links you click on, and don't randomly open attachments you receive on apps or via email.
Worms are among the most common viruses. If they are installed on the computer, they automatically activate every time we turn on the PC. A worm is a virus that does not bind to any other file on the computer and acts independently. They usually exploit vulnerabilities in programs and websites to infect the device. They allow the hacker to gain access to our PC. They are often associated with the aforementioned keyloggers.
File Infector Virus
As the name suggests, these viruses hide inside a file. In a similar way as with Trojans. They create several problems on targeted computers because the virus can overwrite the files it infects. Fortunately, eliminating them is not difficult, just a thorough antivirus scan is enough.
Many programs, like Word or Excel, allow Macro support. Unfortunately, if we activate this feature it is possible to give the green light to a virus hidden inside a document. That is why we should always be suspicious if a downloaded document asks us to activate Macros.
These are viruses that are able to mutate over time to avoid being deleted from the computer. They have been on the rise lately and are becoming more and more prevalent. They can infect your computer and give no sign of their presence for months, then over time they become more and more powerful and start taking over your machine. As if that were not enough, an antivirus may not notice the polymorphic virus if it is in its initial stage and remains hidden.