2 min read

MALWARE HISTORY

Bogdan BOTEZATU

May 27, 2008

MALWARE HISTORY

The term malware stands for malicious software, and usually defines a broad range of intrusive, hostile software applications. Although there are multiple pieces of software that can harm your computer because they are poorly written or allow easy access to the users` systems, the term only covers software that has been deliberately designed to disrupt the normal computing activity.


It might look confusing, but some computer worms are allegedly designed to help the user. This was the case of the Nachi family of worms, a research project carried at Xerox PARC. The worm attempted to download and install available patches form the Microsoft website, in order to patch some known security vulnerabilities. However, it would not notify the user of its actions, and sometimes would disrupt users` activity by generating high amounts of network traffic and rebooting the machine as part of the update process.


Therefore, buggy applications are not malware, since their security faults have not been implemented on purpose.


Malware is an umbrella-term that covers a broad range of harmful (or potentially harmful) software applications, such as viruses, worms, backdoors, Trojans, keyloggers, password stealers, script viruses, rootkits, macro viruses, spyware or even adware. While in the IT industry`s early days threats were labeled as either viruses or Trojan horses, the rapid escalation of technology called for a general term to cover all the above-mentioned threats.


 


Spreading Malware – A Business that Brings Billions


Malware applications have initially been conceived as practical jokes, pranks or even as experiments to demonstrate artificial intelligence.


Things have dramatically shifted lately, as malware writers don`t want glory anymore, but rather financial gains. They have started to pay extra attention to hiding the malware from both the user and antivirus software, in order to be able to exploit it for as much as possible. Malware authors invented new methods to conceal and protect their malicious creations, and make them undetectable for specialized antivirus software.


Writing and spreading malware is a business that`s worth billions of dollars per year. According to a report issued by research company Computer Economics, the direct damage attributed to malware totaled $20 billion globally in 2007.


Modern malware writers exploit their creations to quietly use infected machines, and then send spam messages, steal banking credentials, or leverage their revenue by advertisement click fraud. More than that, corporate espionage also brings constant revenue, as malware opens backdoors into the organization`s network.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

Watch Out for These Ongoing Bank of America Phishing Campaigns Targeting Customers in the US

Watch Out for These Ongoing Bank of America Phishing Campaigns Targeting Customers in the US

July 16, 2021

3 min read
How to protect yourself against cyberstalking

How to protect yourself against cyberstalking

July 06, 2021

2 min read
The Top Five Security Risks Smartphone Users Face Today

The Top Five Security Risks Smartphone Users Face Today

July 02, 2021

4 min read
Phishing Alert: Scammers Use Fake SharePoint and DocuSign Messages to Steal Users’ Login Credentials

Phishing Alert: Scammers Use Fake SharePoint and DocuSign Messages to Steal Users’ Login Credentials

July 02, 2021

3 min read
Your Doxxing Dossier Will Keep Growing Thicker Until You See the Danger

Your Doxxing Dossier Will Keep Growing Thicker Until You See the Danger

June 30, 2021

2 min read
Mobile security threats: reality or myth?

Mobile security threats: reality or myth?

June 13, 2021

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

How to keep your Android device immune to malicious vaccine themed apps How to keep your Android device immune to malicious vaccine themed apps
Cristina POPOV

April 22, 2021

2 min read
Facebook Takes Down Two Hacking Groups Operating out of Palestine Facebook Takes Down Two Hacking Groups Operating out of Palestine
Silviu STAHIE

April 22, 2021

2 min read
Ransomware attack causes supermarket cheese shortage in the Netherlands Ransomware attack causes supermarket cheese shortage in the Netherlands
Graham CLULEY

April 13, 2021

2 min read