BotNet News

Your source for Online Security News

Malware is hostile software that invades computers, computer systems, networks, mobile devices, and other electronic equipment. Its purpose is to steal or encrypt data, hijack functions, sabotage devices and networks, or spy on computer activity without the user’s knowledge or consent. Malware can also interfere with critical infrastructure, eroding the ability of businesses to operate, and disrupt life-saving medical devices, such as pacemakers or insulin pumps. Its creators include cybercriminals, nation-state actors, amateur hackers, and security researchers testing new defense strategies.

Malware comes in a wide variety of forms, from viruses and worms that replicate by making copies to spyware that sends personal information to cybercriminals. Some, like ransomware, encrypt private or business data and demand payment to return it; even when paid, victims rarely receive their data back. Others, like botnets, are used to launch DDoS attacks, causing websites to be temporarily unavailable.

To infect a device, malware must be downloaded by clicking a link or attachment or by visiting an infected website. The payload then begins its job, which may be to encrypt data or download additional malicious software. To avoid becoming a victim, always run an up-to-date antimalware program and use a password manager for all online accounts to prevent reuse of old credentials. A reliable ad blocker is essential as well; hackers inject malware into advertising networks to trick users into installing it without their knowledge. To protect against this threat, try a free ad blocker such as AVG Secure Browser.