What is Malware
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Malware or malicious software is best defined as a form of software programs
and types of programs designed to attack and prevent the use of the a single
computer or entire network. The malware may come as a virus, trojan, worm or
hidden program. Any program invading your privacy for the purpose of obtaining
information for theft of identity is also malware.
A browser hijacker is a type of malware that alters your computer's browser
settings taking you to Web sites that you do not want to visit nor have any
intention of ever visiting. Most hijackers alter default home pages and search
pages to those of their paying customers. More damaging versions often generate
pornographic pop-up windows faster than you can click them shut. The malware may
also redirect you to pornographic sites when you inadvertently mistype a URL or
leave off thewww in your browser window. These malware programs leave behind
many problems and some people have lost their jobs because of content and links
found on their computers at work. Some have been charged with possession of
illegal materials and family situations have been altered as a result. In one
case in the United States one person was convicted of possession of child
pornography although he claims to be the victim of malware.
Along with adware and spyware a malware browser hijacker may be installed as
part of a freeware or shareware program. In this case the browser hijacker is
often listed in the user agreement but not listed as a malware browser hijacker.
Most people ignore or give a quick glance at the user agreement and then go
ahead with the download. Malware may also be installed without user permission
as a result of attachment to email, shared file or download.
Malware appears to have been started as a prank. Young programmers wrote
these programs just to prove that they could get into other programs. As time
passed however there began a more hostile intent of programs designed to
vandalize or cause data loss. Some DOS viruses and Windows ExploreZip worm were
designed to destroy files and corrupt the file system by writing junk data. In
2001 the Code Red worm and the Ramen worm fell into the same category designed
to vandalize web pages everywhere the worm goes.
Another malware program designed strictly for income is spyware. Programs
were designed to monitor users web browsing, collecting personal data and
sending this information on to another person. Spyware programs do not spread
like viruses or worms but are most often found attached to downloaded programs.
The best known types of malware are viruses and worms. These are known by the
manner in which they spread. The term computer virus is used for a program which
infects other software and worms spread to other computers automatically. Today
most worms are written for the Windows Operating Systems. The worm scans the
network for other computers, breaks into those computers and copies themselves
over and over. Worms are a problem for all home and business computers. We must
keep current all virus, worm and trojan definitions as well as spyware, adware
and malware definitions. To keep your computers running efficiently find a good
anti-virus program that also contains anti-spyware programs and firewalls. Run
your virus scan daily after updating your definitions. This is your best defense
against infection of your computer.
Stealware is a form of malware. Stealware is designed so that it replaces
your affiliate commission ID with the ID of a third party when a purchase is
made. Affiliate programs pay commissions based on the affiliate identification
in the link at the time of the purchase. Stealware steals the commission earned
by you when you ran the ads, wrote the articles and drove traffic to the sales
site. The third party, who did nothing other than install stealware on your
computer, gets paid for your work.
About the Author
Bonnie McCormick reviews and researches web hosting sites as well as web site
builders and quality web services. For additional information on web hosting
tools and services visitwww.internetmarketingplaza.com
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-02-01 09:27:44 in Computer Articles