Glossary

Malware

Easy

Malware or malicious software refers to harmful programs utilized by bad actors to illegally access and/or compromise a computer, network or server.

What Is Malware?

Malware or malicious software refers to harmful programs utilized by bad actors to illegally access and/or compromise a computer, network or server. These programs are effective tools used by attackers to steal sensitive information from other systems or sabotage them.

Malware programs are classified into nine different categories; the most common ones are worms, viruses, and trojans. Computer viruses are the most rampant type of malware as they are effective in altering and infecting sensitive files within a device. 

Worms have gained prominence through the advent of email systems, and are quite destructive due to their self-replicating design, which makes them nearly impossible to neutralize. Moreover, they have the unique ability to take over a whole computer system or network without intervention from end-users. 

Trojans are generally a hacker’s weapon of choice, which they primarily plant strategically on websites or send via malicious emails to gain access to other people’s computer systems. Trojans can easily compromise data or spy on a user’s activity once they have infected a device.

Unlike traditional networks, blockchain systems are extremely difficult if not impossible for malware programs to infect thanks to their distributed nature. However, malicious individuals do not have to hack a blockchain to steal money from their users. They usually infiltrate a user’s device and steal their private keys or crypto exchange credentials.

Therefore, crypto users should install reliable anti-virus software and regularly update it to the latest version. Furthermore, it is best to steer clear of questionable websites and never click on attachments or links from emails you don’t recognize.