Malware has been invading computers for a few decades, but it’s gotten much more sophisticated in the last couple of years. The general malware term is used to describe all types of malicious software and code that are designed to delete computer files, damage data or corrupt hard drives. Viruses and ransomware are the most common forms of malware.
Viruses, in some form, have been around since before the Internet was available for widespread use. The first computer program viruses were designed in the 1980s using infected machine code instructions. When a personal computer was booted with a floppy disk, the virus attacked the computer. Today, viruses can be hidden inside programs that may appear innocent, but when opened, they will damage or delete data and files. They can travel between computers and networks through email attachments or websites that have been infected.
Virus protection software has been around since the early ’90s. It looks for any foreign applications that are trying to run on your computer. It can differentiate between your software and anything suspicious and will delete the offending software. Most people wouldn’t consider having a computer without virus protection these days.
As computer technology has advanced in the last few years, so have the programs designed to destroy or delete your data. Ransomware’s main goal is to lock your files and then “kidnap” the data until you pay a ransom to get it back. Unfortunately, research has shown that even if you pay to get your data back, chances are that you will never see the files again.
Ransomware has gotten so advanced that it has infiltrated large corporations, law enforcement agencies and banking institutions.
There have been many variations of Ransomware attacks in the last few years. Some of the most infamous are listed below.
- Bad Rabbit – This code, designed to look like an Adobe Flash installer, infected organizations in Eastern Europe and Russia.
- Dharma – This malicious malware sends infected code through emails.
- Cerber – Millions of Office 365 users were impacted in 2017 with this ransomware program through email attachments.
Ransomware detection techniques have gotten more high-tech to combat the destruction. The software has been developed to identify and remove harmful files before they can destroy data. The software can even block clients that are infected and can alert other servers using the same protection services of any attempts at infiltration.
Malicious software has gotten sophisticated over the last few years, but thankfully, so have the programs to detect it. Make sure your computer and data are protected.