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What is malware and virus| Types of malware and virus

This articles help you to learn about what is malware and virus. Also have a detailed understanding of types of malware and virus in computer.

What is malware and virus| Types of malware and virus

What is Malware & Types of Malware

Malware is a kind of software program that gains computer access without the user’s knowledge. Its intention is to damage your system. There are different types of malware, they are:

  • Viruses
  • Worms
  • Trojans
  • Ransomware
  • Spyware
  • Rootkits
  • Spam

We will have a look at each of them in detail.


Virus are malicious code executed on a system when there is an user interaction. For instance, when you download a malicious file from a malicious website. The file might contain virus and spreads the virus in the victim’s system when their is an interaction.

There are 10 different types of viruses, they are:

  • Boot sector: These viruses are very difficult to detect. The boot sector viruses infects the first sector of a hard disk. This executes during the boot-up so that no anti-virus can detect it. You need to use anti-viruses that specifically look for boot sector viruses.
  • Macro virus: These viruses infects a document. This executes when an users open a document such as the word, excel or power point, etc.
  • Program virus: These viruses infects a program or an applications. For instance, if the virus is present in one of the application whenever victim open that application, the virus gets executed again and again.
  • Multipartite virus: Combination of both boot sector and program virus is multipartite virus. The virus infects the first sector of hard disk and installs a program after booting up. Even if you find the program and clean it, whenever the system boots it automatically installs again and again.
  • Encrypted Virus: The antivirus gets better by finding the virus. Encrypted virus encrypts the content by cipher making it harder to detect.
  • Polymorphic virus: This is advance encrypted virus that changes its code every time when executed. This makes it difficult to find by an anti-virus that depends on signature.
  • Metamorphic virus: This is an advance version of polymorphic virus as it rewrites entirely before infecting the file.
  • Stealth virus: Stealth virus hides itself from anti-viruses. These are not a specific virus. Encrypted, polymorphic and metamorphic are all examples of a stealth virus.
  • Armored virus: These viruses confuses the antivirus, which adds an extra layer of protection. This helps to spread virus to other user without being detected.
  • Hoax: Hoax is not a virus, but it is used to trick a user to install virus in their system. It is usually a message or a pop-up that appears in a system. When the user calls a number that displayed on the message or pop-up the hoax person pretending to be tech support, asks the user to install a software that contains a virus.


WORM automatically finds security loop holes such as un-patched software or application. It does not need user interaction like virus to get executed. It replicates itself faster and spreads throughout victim’s network. While replicating they reduce computer power, its memory, it can also cause the system to corrupt.


Trojan looks like a genuine software but it is malicious. It installs the software that it specified and also install malicious code. It got the name Trojan from a war; the Greek sent a large Trojan horse to their enemies offering peace but the Trojan horse contained lots of Greek soldiers inside it.

The common type of Trojan is Remote access Trojan(RAT) which when installed gives remote access of the victim’s system.


Ransomware is a type of malware when installed in your system, it encrypts all your files and you will get a message asking to pay ransom. They may ask you to pay it in bitcoins. In most cases, even if you pay they won’t give access back to your files.

The best way to protect from Ransomware is to have a back of your files.


Spyware gathers information secretly from the victim’s machine without their knowledge. This malware installs from an infected website or third party application. They spy on your message, calendar, emails, etc. They can also be key-logger where they can get information about your key strokes and also can take screenshots of the websites you visit.

Common type of spyware is Adware, Adware once installed shows ads based on what they saw on the victim’s computer.


Rootkit gains the administrative or root level control of the system without being detected. When root level access is gained the attacker can modify, delete, install and do anything they want without the knowledge of other users and administrators.


Spam is abusing electronic device to send out bulk messages. For instance, you might have got spam in your message, email, social media, etc. The spammers send lots of email asking the victim to buy products.

The spammers found a way known as open mail relay. All organisation has a mail server and open mail relay setup-ed to send mail on behalf of them. If that is not secured properly, the spammers may use this to send emails.

Other Articles:

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2.: What is information security|types of hackers and threat actors

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