There are several methods that a computer may become damaged or corrupt. These threats are known as malicious software, or malware. If your computer is not secure with software that protects your computer, such as an anti-virus or anti-malware program, you may be risking your personal information or files created from being accessed or deleted without your knowledge. Malware may be so damaging that it can cause a company, like Amazon, to lose millions of dollars if it causes its website to shut down. Attackers will also use different methods to try and have the malware installed into a computer. The more popular known malware are viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and spam. However, there are other forms of malware which are just as dangerous.
A very hard type of malware to detect is called a rootkit. This form of malware will conceal itself within the operating system code to hide itself from detection. Rootkits may also hide itself within other programs. When installed, the attacker will now have access to the infected computer and view any file or carry out other attacks from the computer. This can be especially damaging if a company was infected as the information being obtained can be sold and danger the company’s reputation. Some methods used to install malware are by way of e-mail, social engineering, and direct access to a computer. With so much pirated software, music, and movies available on the internet for download, attackers may use this to their advantage by allowing someone to download through a sharing program and have malware hidden within its contents. This method is known as drive-by downloads. The malware hidden may be anything from a virus, a worm, adware or spyware. “Torrents” are infamous for having pirated files and having other hidden contents within the file. Another form of attack used to have malware installed is pop-up downloads. They are being more widely used. When a website is visited, a pop-up message or page...
Bibliography: Holcombe, Jane and Charles Holcombe. Survey of Operating Systems 3rd Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012.
Windows lifecycle fact sheet. 2012. 06 11 2012 <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/lifecycle>.
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