Earlier in the year the UK was gripped in the clutches
of the WannaCry ransomware infection. This particular
infection exploited a vulnerability in Windows,
and quickly spread throughout the NHS and other
organisations, locking and encrypting the data on
a computer until money was sent to those who
unleashed it to the world.
Although a worm is a typeof virus, it behaves
differently in that it’s goal isn’t to alter or destroy
system files.Rather, it’s designed to replicate itself
continuously until all there sources and space on the
system are consumed. A bit of a nightmare for the
The Trojan horse, as the name suggests, is a program that
masquerades as a legitimate application but in actual
fact contains code that allows a hacker remote access
to your computer. Like the legend of the wooden horse
the Greeks used to gain access to Troy, once inside your
computer it opens and creates an opening for the hacker
Spyware invades computers usually through freeware
or shareware downloads,which is why you should
always download a program from a reputable source.
The intent of spyware is to collect information about
the user and report it back to those who wrote it.
Adware is very similar to spyware, in that one of its goals
is to monitor the user. However, adware usually goes one
step further and bombards the user with Internet pop-up
advertising, usually when they open their browser or a
newtab.The advertising can be tame, such as gardening
equipment, or it can be extremely offensive.
While Hollywood would have you visualise the lifestyle
of a hacker as something that’s quite alluring, in truth it’s
quite the opposite.The average user is generally under
the radar where a hacker is concerned.They’re mostly
after the corporations, or famous people, but you can
have your computer hacked by a neighbour, for example.
A relatively modern term in the history of computer
security, social engineering will have the user deceived
into giving away personal information or allowing a
scammer into their systems. The recent spate of calls
from people claiming to be from the likes of Microsoft
or a security firm are a prime example
Much in the same vein as social engineering, phishing
is the act of obtaining sensitive information (bank
details usually) about a user by being disguised as a
trustworthy source. Phishing on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. is on the rise.
Rootkits are virus-like programs that are activated
before the computer’s anti-virus and security suites
are started when booting Windows. They can change
the way a security suite looks at files, allowing a virus
to hide in plain sight and not be detected by the
system’s security measures.