Short form malicious software, malware has become increasingly common in recent years. As more and more devices connect to the internet, hackers are using this opportunity to deploy malware. Consumers and businesses alike are now being targeted with malware. But what exactly is a malware infection? To learn more about malware infections and the damage they cause, keep reading.
Malware Infections Explained
A malware infection involves the deployment — typically through downloading — of malware onto a victim’s computer, device or network. Some hackers using phishing scams to deploy malware. A hacker, for instance, may send you an email with a file attachment. The email itself, as well as the file attachment, may appear legitimate. Upon downloading the file attachment, however, you’ll unknowingly deploy malware onto your computer, device or network.
Common Types of Malware Infections
There are several common types of malware infections, one of which is a virus. Viruses are characterized by the ability to replicate and spread. Like pathogenic viruses, they are problematic because they can infect other devices. If your computer is infected with a virus, the virus may spread to other computers connected to the same network.
In addition to viruses, ransomware is a common type of malware infection. Ransomware is designed to hold your files for ransom. Once deployed, it will typically prevent you from accessing some or all of your computer’s files. When you attend to access a file, a pop-up window will display asking you to pay a ransom.
There’s also keylogging malware that, as the name suggests, is responsible for logging keystrokes. It typically runs in the background where it discreetly logs your keystrokes. Whether you’re writing an email or logging in to your business’s bank account, all your keystrokes will be recorded and transmitted to the hacker who initially deployed the keylogging malware.
Signs of Malware Infections
How do you know if your computer, device or network is suffering from a malware infection? Symptoms of infection vary depending on the specific type of malware. If your computer has a virus, for instance, it may cause performance issues like slow speeds and random reboots, which also appear on other computers and devices that are connected to the same network.
If your computer has ransomware, on the other hand, you may struggle to access its stored files. Once the ransomware has made its way onto your computer, it will lock your files — essentially holding them for ransom.
Keylogging malware is more difficult to identify because it’s designed to run discreetly. Nonetheless, you may discover an unknown process or processes running in the background if your computer is infected with keylogging malware.