Author: AiroAV Labs
AiroAV Compiled a Short Guide About Malware and How to Tell If You’re a Victim of Cybercrime.
Our Macs are resilient, that’s why we love them so much. However, they are susceptible to certain types of Malware and they have certain ways to tell us that they’re sick. But what is Malware? Let AiroAV Define and clarify some Malware types for you.
What Is Malware?
When it comes to software or any type of program, script or behavior, the term Malware is given to any type of malicious behavior (whether damage is occurred or only if the behavior creates the potential for such damage). Malware comes in all sorts of forms and each one has its own characteristics.
Here are some examples of the most common kinds of threats that are all classed as malicious (a.k.a Malware).
- Virus — is a type of malware that self-replicates and attaches itself to programs and infects them with its own code.
- Spyware — Secretly observes the infected computer or user’s activity and reports this information back to the hacker.
- Trojan Horses — This type is by far the worst type of malware. Once it has embedded itself on the system, it allows the attackers to gain access, steal information and infect the computer with further viruses.
- Worms — Similar to viruses, worms can self-reproduce and spread to other computers over a shared network. They usually cause damage by deleting or destroying files.
- Adware — Attacks the user by defecating unwanted advertising all over the screen and they are usually hiding in web browsers. They trick users to click on the ads as sometimes they seem legit. AiroAV classifies as Adware several behaviors and forms of Adware.
- Ransomware — is a particularly nasty piece of malware because it is designed to lock the user out of their system and encrypts files. The hacker will then demand a ransom to release the commuter and / or files back to the victim.
- Rootkits — Provides the hacker with admin privileges to the infected system so that they can take control of the operating system. Usually, this type of malware goes unnoticed by the user.
- Cryptojacking (or Crypto-Malware) — This type of malware gets into the system by way of trojans. It allows the hacker to mine cryptocurrency so that they can cash in and collect mined coins by stealing the victim’s recourses to do so.
Sometimes Malware can be so nasty or vicious that it totally disables our devices and cripples network systems and can sometimes, depending on the type of threat take over the device completely.
Simple Signs that You’ve Been a Victim of a Malware Attack.
Malware has many ugly faces so here are a few ways to tell if your system has Malware on it:
- A slower system than usual — if you’re simply surfing the web or using an application and your machine is slow, chance s are high that you’ve been infected.
- If you suddenly start getting overwhelming amounts of pop-up ads or your screen with messages saying, “congratulations you’ve won a FREE bla, bla, bla” You’ve probably been infected with Adware.
- You’re Mac suddenly crashes, freezes or displays the disturbing blue screen of death, which usually indicates a fatal error.
- If you discover your disk space is suddenly and unexpectedly full, this could be caused by a malware/spyware/adware that is hiding in our hard drive.
- The home page on your browser suddenly changes and refuses to revert.
- Some malware can infect your computer, leaving little or no trace what-so-ever. It sits on your hard disk quietly stealing your files and personal information.
The moral of this story is to always ensure that you’re protected.
How Malware Gets on Your Hardware
The most common ways for your computer to become infected by malware is via the Internet or by links in emails and messages known as Phishing. So, basically, you are vulnerable anytime you’re connected to the internet unless you have adequate security.
Malware can be delivered in many forms including as websites, downloaded files and toolbars. Hackers are always coming up with innovative ways to infect your devices by disguising the malware as innocent looking as possible so that we inadvertently click on something without knowing it is going to harm our computer.
Protecting Yourself from Malware Attacks.
You should pay attention to any of your devices that are connecting to the internet as these days no operating system is safe from hackers.
- You should try to avoid clicking on Pop-Ups, strange email or hit unknown links when using the internet, especially where the offer seems too good to be true.
- Keep your Mac operating systems up to date and perform regular updates of your apps.
- Only download things from reliable sources.
- Links in emails offering you ridiculous offers like some doctor that wants to transfer 10 million USD to your account and share it with you, clicking on these types of links is going to unleash all kinds of horror on your poor computer so resist the urge to click no matter how curious you are. The truth is that this isn’t your lucky day and it will cost you your hard-earned cash.
Finally, the best way you can sleep better at night knowing you are safe is to invest in a good antivirus. You want an antivirus that can scan your Mac and detect malware in real-time, like Airo.