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Best Practices/Malware


  1. What impact can malware have on your business/systems?
  2. How can you tell when your system has been infected?
  3. How to get rid of an infection
  4. The malware culprits
  5. Target environments/carriers

Malware is any type of software that can cause damage to computer systems without the owner's consent. These include viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, bugs.
To avoid any malware getting in your system, visit our alerts section to stay informed
on latest virus threats. This way you can stay up to date with software patches that vendors provide. Some vendors i.e. Microsoft, Apple, provide automatic patch updating
of their software for security fixes.
Use anti-virus software that automatically updates with antidotes to the latest 'bugs'
that circulate the internet.
A firewall will also be watching your system for outside intrusions trying to access your data. It will block any incoming communication attempts from and to the sources you
do not want.

You can run some security checks for your system here:
Symantec for Windows
for Windows
for Windows and Linux
Audit My Pc
for Windows

What impact can malware have on your business/systems?
An affected computer can slow down the system's processes and eventually the productivity, resources and time that you may need to dedicate to remove it.
Other impacts could include stealing your information and your customers' information, increasing the number of spam emails you receive as well as denial of service or even deleting files.

How can you tell when your system has been infected?
Most of the times you will realise it when your PC takes time to switch on or in general whatever operations you try to run would take more than the usual time to run them.
In general there are no specific ways of telling, but users who regularly use their PC
they can tell the difference when their behaviour changes. It also depends on the type
of infection and what its side-effects are.

How to get rid of an infection
If you are an employ in a company then inform the IT department about the problem.
If you use a home computer then try to run an anti-virus programme to see if it can catch it and remove it. It is best to disconnect your computer from the network until you decide how you are going to tackle it.

The malware culprits
There are some websites that are mostly responsible for any malware infection found
in your PC.

  • Pornographic sites
    Pornographic sites carry a load of spyware and trojan horses ready to be installed
    in your computer once you visit them. You can try some anti-spyware software to be sure that they are blocked. Spyware Blaster by JavaCool.
  • Illegal downloads
    When downloading llegal music and movies from file sharing sites, it is easy to have malware creeping in. They can install cookies in your machine so that they can later
    on track your browsing habits.
  • Fake online security products
    Those products appearin a banner of a website that you are visiting, telling you that
    your security is poor and that your computer has been infected and all you need
    to do is to install those anti-virus or anti-spyware products to keep you secure.
    Those are just images so they do not even scan your computer to check for malware.
    If you download the software they are advertising, you are most likely downloading
    a spyware. You may as well infecting your clean computer by trying to remove the so-called infection. To take matters a deeper level, for a programme to tell whether
    a system has been infected or not, needs to go through a system scan which takes time so it is very unlikely that within seconds that you visit a website that you get a warning that your system contains an infection. The bottom line is do not trust whatever you see online.
  • Email attachments
    Opening email attachments from senders you do not recognize is quiter risk, especially when dealing with attachments with filenames ending with 'exe', 'com', 'scr' extensions. For a virus to be activated you need to open the attachment.
  • Software piracy
    Downloading illegal software license keys and cracks from license generator websites may contain harmful scripts and fake key generators which can only be malware.
  • Free games, screen savers
    Unfortunately with almost every free software that you are trying to get, malware comes with it. Again it is used to monitor your online behaviour in order to send you targeted advertisments.
  • The users
    The user can be the biggest culprit if he/she does not have an updated anti-virus package installed and checked periodically. If he/she visits illegitimate sites and illegally downloads music and movie files. In short, if you do all the above without being responsible
    and aware of the risks involved.
  • Target environments/carriers
    For a malware to fulfill its purpose, it requires that certain components exist to launch
    an attack agains a host. These are:

    Devices such as personal computers, personal digital assistants, mobile devices.
    Operating systems. Malware may require a specific OS to be running in order
    to be effective.
    Applications. They might need specific applications to be installed on the targeted host so that it can launch its attack.

    Carriers are the objects in which the virus is carried, also known as hosts.
    These are executable files that replicate the virus by attaching itself to a host program.
    They can have the following extensions: .exe, .com, .sys, .dll, .ovl, .ocx, .prg.
    Also attacks using scripts, that is a scripting language such as Microsoft Visual Basic Script, AppleScript, Perl Script.
    They can have the following extensions: .vbs, .js, .wsh, .prl.
    Macros used in a word processor, spreadsheet, database application can use the macro languages in Microsoft Word and Lotus Ami Pro to carry their malicious acts such as formating a computer's hard drive ro changing the workding in a document. Read more

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