Published on March 6, 2014
Malware Protection SecureAcademy Lecture slides provided by Ahsan Imran. Materials taken from amzn.com/3950309306 under license granted by Nerel Publishing (cogipas.com). S
What is Malware? S Malware collectively means Viruses, Worms, Trojans, Rootkits, Email/Web Bugs, Adware and Spyware. S Malware can spread at a devastating rate and in a variety forms including email links and attachments, pop-up websites, malicious code embedded in webpages and downloads from chat clients, the web and torrents/P2P networks. S Malware can be used to steal personal data and to turn your system into a zombie which could later be used for illegal acts.
What is a Virus? S A virus is a piece of executable code that is capable of replicating itself and infecting your data and files. S Usually a virus is on a users computer without their knowledge and once opened it multiplies itself to become even more dangerous. S A virus can spread through removable media such as CD/ DVD, USB stick, Network File System or the Internet. S A virus can have a serious impact; it can corrupt, change data or even delete everything off your hard drive.
What is a Worm? S A worm is another type of malicious software program similar to a virus. However, it differs in that a worm reproduces and spreads automatically from computer to computer. S A worm usually locates your contacts and sends everyone an email with the same attachment or link to the original worm. This process continues until you find people are infected on a mass level. S A worm uses bandwidth in this way, making your system slow or unresponsive; it can also wreak havoc by opening up port numbers and creating a back door for illegal hackers.
What is a Trojan S A Trojan is a malicious software program that proses as a legitimate or useful application. Once it is opened it gets installed and begins malicious action without your knowledge. S A Trojan cannot be replicated so once you find it you must delete it straight away. S A Trojan may arrive in the same way as a virus. S Trojan viruses are most common on Windows based systems due to the security loopholes that exist within it.
What is a Rootkit? S A rootkit is a collection of programs used to obtain and maintain undetected administrative level access to your computer. S A rootkit mainly creates a “backdoor” into your computer which is used by hackers to hide their spyware, viruses and Trojans from anti-malware and system management utilities. S A rootkit can target many operating systems and usually you will have to wipe you computer’s hard drive and reinstall the operating system if you have detected a rootkit on your system.
What is an Email or Web Bug? S Email or web bugs are invisibly small or transparent images embedded in an email or web page that are displayed from a remote, third party location. S These bugs are mainly used to track the time your opened the email or to track your IP address for profiling purposes. S In your web email, you may have noticed that you provider blocks images. This is an attempt by your email provider to protect you from bugs.
What are Adware and Spyware? S Adware and Spyware constantly run in the background of your system, eating up your computer’s memory and processing power. They do this whilst logging your activities and sometimes even sending these records to a remote location, either in real-time or at regular intervals. S Adware is usually installed with your agreement and can usually be uninstalled like any normal software. S Spyware is sometimes disguised entirely as something else, without your knowledge or agreement and may be difficult to uninstall.
Are you infected? S The symptoms of your computer being compromised by malware can vary. S However, signs that your computer has been compromised can be that it starts to freeze and crash regularly or run more slowly or perhaps its hard drive keeps whirring away even though you are not running any programs. S If you think that your computer may have been compromised always run a full scan of all your files with your updated anti-malware software, even if it means running it overnight.
Using Anti-Malware Software S The single best way to protect yourself from malware is to have up-to-date anti-malware software. S Hackers are always adapting and changing so you should always keep your defenses up-to-date by regularly downloading the latest virus definitions for your malware software. S Keeping your definitions up-to-date can usually be set automatically and the more frequently you update them the better.
Recommended Anti-Malware Software S AVG Anti-Virus Protection S Avast Anti-Virus Protection S Norton Anti-Virus Protection S Kaspersky Anti-Virus Protection S Windows Defender/Microsoft Security Essentials S MacAfee Anti-Virus Protection S Trend Micro Anti-Virus Protection
Typing Email Links into Your Browser S When you receive an email containing a link, rather than clicking on the link, type the address manually into your web browser, S It is easy to be fooled into clicking on a link that sends you to a fake or spoofed website, These links can look convincing. Instead, if you type the link into your browser, you will never be tricked into visiting www.amaz0n.com or www.facebok.com when you wanted www.amazon.com or www.facebook.com. (As it happens, Amazon and Facebook own all four of these domain names, but that is not always the case.)
Spam Filters S Spam filters are filters that prevent you from receiving unsolicited junk email, mostly used within email clients. S Enabling these filters and spending some time with the settings should help prevent a lot of spam and malware from reaching your Inbox in the first place.
How to Check What Services are Running on Your System S To view processes and background activity most operating systems come bundled with some sort of process manager. S On Windows based systems you will need to open Task Manager and select the tab named Processes and then another tab named Services. S On Mac based systems you will need to open Activity Monitor and select the tab named Memory and then another tab named Network. S Please note that this should only be configured by Advanced Users.
References S Bailey, M. (2011). Complete Guide to Internet Privacy, Anonymity & Security. A Nerel
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