Threats From Malware

In the previous lesson we looked at the different types of malware which is the term used to cover all types of malicious software (this is simply a shortened combination of the two words).

Understanding that our computer systems are at risk from malware when we connect to a network or add an external storage device to our system allows us to add in the protection that reduces the risk damage to data. It is important to remember that we can never be 100% protected from malware but that our actions as users are often the main reason why our systems become infected.

Virus

malware virus

The virus type of malware requires human interaction in order to install itself on the computer system . Once installed, it is able to replicate itself and infect other computers often by using the software that is already installed on the computer.

An example of a virus infection is a user receiving an email from a friend which contains a zip file with an unusual name. Because the user recognises the email address they feel confident in opening the attachment. once the attachment is open comma the virus is able to install itself on the system and repeat the same process by accessing the email client of the user.

In this case, the user could protect themselves by not opening any attachment unless they know for certain that it is safe. However, this is not always possible as we receive many emails from a number of different people but look perfectly safe. The second layer of protection would be to add antivirus that scans all new software that is opened on the computer before installation. In order for this software to be effective, it is important that the antivirus software is updated on a regular basis to allow it to detect new viruses which are created daily.

Lesson Activity

Use this website to investigate and research the types of malware attack that are happening across the world right now. The threat map website uses a colour code to show the type of attack and identifies on the map where the threat is coming from and going to.

Create an infographic that identifies the type of viruses that you saw on the website and the type of industries that are currently at the highest risk.

Trojan

trojan horse

Treasured malware , as we saw before height itself inside software that pretends to be a gift. Much like with a virus, it is the user that poses the highest risk to the data as a Trojan cannot be installed unless the user down notes the free software program.

One of the ways in which a user can protect themselves against Trojans is the only download software from trusted sources and avoid the use of open-source software. Again, this may not always be possible and the installation of anti-malware software that checks all new installations helps to prevent Trojans from installing themselves.

Spyware

Lost spyware can be particularly harmful for your personal data, it is not often very complex, especially when looking at spyware such as key loggers. A keylogger simply records every keystroke that the user inputs and saves it into a text file which is then sent on to the creator.

Lesson Activity

In this final lesson activity, we are going to create a simplistic and safe version of a keylogger. it is important to remember that the production of any software that is malicious is both unethical and often illegal. Whilst the program below shows you how to record your own keystrokes, this is limited to when the program itself is open and visible as we wish to remain ethical developers of software.

Complete the program code below to allow you to record every key that the user presses on the keyboard and save this input into a text file. The beginnings of the program have been started for you.