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Malicious software, also known as malware, poses a significant threat to computer systems worldwide. According to experts, there are over 1 billion instances of these harmful programs circulating, causing damage by infiltrating systems, pilfering data and funds, tampering with files, compromising identities, and engaging in other detrimental activities.

Top Types of Malwares in 2023

A wide range of malware exists, each capable of inflicting significant harm to your systems and, consequently, your entire business. Below is a brief overview of several well-known variations:

Ransomware operates by encrypting the files of its target and demanding a payment in exchange for the decryption key. The malicious software is primarily disseminated through phishing emails, compromised remote desktop connections, or software vulnerabilities. Once activated, ransomware will disables system recovery options and encrypts files stored on the victim’s system as well as connected network drives. Some newer versions even go a step further by threatening to expose or sell the victims data if the ransom is not paid, intensifying the extortion tactics involved.

Spyware secretly collects confidential data from individuals without their awareness. It is commonly installed through deceptive software downloads, email attachments, or malicious websites, and occasionally bundled with legitimate software. Once infiltrated, spyware can monitor keystrokes, capture screen images, track internet browsing patterns, and gather personal information.

Viruses reproduce and propagate by embedding malicious code into authentic programs or files, allowing them to spread from one computer to another. Their presence can disrupt system stability and result in data corruption, deletion, or theft. In order to spread, viruses typically rely on user engagement, such as opening infected email attachments or downloading malicious files.

Worms are specifically engineered to propagate through computers and networks. Unlike viruses, worms can spread autonomously without requiring user involvement. They exploit weaknesses in network services, operating systems, or software to self-replicate and propagate throughout the network, infecting previously uninfected machines.

Fileless malware is specifically crafted to evade conventional security measures and forensic tools that rely on file signatures. Its detection is exceedingly challenging as it leaves behind no files or discernible traces on compromised systems. Following an initial infiltration via phishing emails or software vulnerabilities, this malware resides within the device’s memory, leveraging legitimate scripting frameworks to propagate throughout the network while surreptitiously gathering sensitive data. Upon rebooting the infected computer, the malware vanishes completely, leaving no evidence behind.

Wiper malware masquerades as ransomware but lacks any form of recovery capability. Instead, its sole purpose is to obliterate data, rendering any restoration attempts futile. While various wiper variants may operate differently, their primary targets are almost invariably a computer’s files, backups, and master boot record (MBR). The MBR holds critical information about the computer’s disk partitions and aids in loading the operating system during startup.

Miner malware seizes computing resources to engage in cryptocurrency mining. It is commonly disseminated through malevolent email attachments or compromised websites. Once activated, the malware operates discreetly in the background, utilizing the infected computer’s CPU for intricate crypto-mining calculations. Consequently, these resource-intensive processes impair system performance, leading to potential overheating and damage to computer components.

Trojans adopt the disguise of genuine software or files with the aim of deceiving users into voluntarily installing or executing them. They often propagate through various mediums such as music files, games, movies, or video codecs. Once successfully downloaded, Trojans can establish covert network access points, pilfer data, redirect internet traffic, or monitor user actions. Particularly, remote access trojans (RATs) grant attackers’ remote control over the compromised computer.

Rootkits grant malicious individuals the ability to assume remote command over a computer, possessing complete administrative privileges. Similar to other entries in this compilation, they have typically spread through malicious emails, attachments, and downloads. Rootkits have the capacity the manipulate hardware, software, and hypervisors, enabling them to circumvent detection measures effectively.

Protecting your vital computer systems can be an overwhelming endeavor, given the constant emergence of hundreds of thousands of new malware variants daily. However, you don’t have to face this challenge alone. Apex Technology Management is here to assist you. Our array of managed security services is meticulously crafted to detect and combat malware while safeguarding your network against intrusive attacks. Reach out to us today to discover how we can bolster your defenses.

Kaitlin Giordano

Kaitlin Giordano is the Marketing Coordinator at Apex Technology Management, a California-based IT Support Company. She holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and marketing from Boise State University. She has a passion for content writing and driving brand awareness.