The Computer Revolution/Security/Malware
Malware consists of worms, viruses and Trojan horses. The similarity between these three is that all three are aimed at attacking your PC. There are many ways in which malware is spread. Some methods include: By infected floppies or CD's, Boot-sector virus, File Virus, Multipartite virus, Macro virus, Logic bomb, Trojan horse and email hoax. The first way, an infected floppy or CD can have a virus loaded on it. This could be a prank from a friend or a repair person. A boot-sector virus is a virus that is sitting in the boot-sector of your computer. That is where all the boot up information is stored for proper boot up procedures. When it is infected with a virus, the virus delivers its own instructions and then attacks your computer freely. If any other disk or CD is put into the PC that too becomes infected. If this disk or CD are then put into another computer that computer too becomes infected. File viruses attach themselves to files that start up programs. So when the file is activated the virus then turns active and then tries to work its way into the memory and infect other files as well. Multipartite virus is a hybrid virus between a file virus and a boot-sector virus. This makes it really hard to detect. A type of multipartite virus is the polymorphic virus. Just like a human virus it can change form. This makes it really hard to be detected and also changes its own profile so any antivirus cant pick up on it. The Macro virus attaches itself to mini procedures in miniature programs, those which are found in emails or spreadsheets. These are called Macros. Until recently these files have been ignored by anti virus programs. Next we have the logic bomb. These are viruses that are programmed to go off at a certain time and date. A Trojan horse is basically a carrier for viruses. It appears to be a useful program but has viruses that are attached to it ready to attack. These are emails that have been sent to warn people about a virus. However on its way through the Internet a virus get attached to it, and with a warning saying make sure to send it to everyone you know, it causes catastrophic results.
Types of Trojan Horses
Trojan Horses cannot replicate themselves like viruses and worms. There are seven main types of Trojan Horses:
1. Remote Access Trojan (RAT): They can be downloaded from small files such as free software, games, or electronic greeting cards. Once downloaded, the intruder can gain complete administrative control of the computer gaining knowledge of every key stroke made; which can include sensitive personal information of the user.
2. Data Sending Trojan: Relays sensitive information back to the intruder, such as credit card information, email addresses, log files, and so on. Some are used to relay information and not intended for malicious acts. Instead they are used to serve ads to the user. Hackers gain data of the user’s Web activity and site visited to serve corresponding ads to the user.
3. Destructive Trojan: This Trojan is used to destroy data on the user’s computer.
4. Proxy Trojan: Uses the victim's computer as a proxy server. The Hacker can then execute any illegal or malicious act from the user’s computer over the internet.
5. FTP Trojan: Installs a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) on the user’s machine. The Trojan then opens port 21 to the attacker allowing the system to try to download and upload files from the user’s computer.
6. Security software disabler Trojan: Designed to disable firewall and antivirus software allowing the attacker to invade the user’s computer.
7. Denial-of-Service attack Trojan: Initially installed through a RAT Trojan. One of the more popular RATs is the SubSeven Trojan from various computers routed to the victim’s service. Affected machines are referred to as Zombies.
Malware can infect mobile phones, portable digital media players, printers, and other devices that have computing hardware and software, just as well as computers. Bluetooth devices are particularly vulnerable because they can be infected via a Bluetooth connection just by being 30 feet from a carrier of the malware.
Mobile Malware is supposed to make the phone difficult to use, by moving icons around or crashing the phone. Sometimes the malware is money-oriented and can steal credit card data located on the mobile phone. As mobile devices continue to add more and more software components, they become more vulnerable to the malware. So in the future, where most mobile phones will have become more complicated and have software components, there will be more malware attacks. The good news is that the lack of a universal operating system for mobile devices limits the amount of mobile malware currently in circulation.