Malware comes in many different forms. Some of them are designed to covertly capture and steal data, whereas others are designed to delete data. The latter form is known as disk-wiping malware. If any of your computers or devices become infected with it, disk-wiping malware may permanently delete some or all of the stored data. What is disk-wiping malware exactly, and how does it work?

Overview of Disk-Wiping Malware

Also known simply as a wiper, disk-wiping malware is a class of malicious software that’s characterized by its ability to delete data from the computers and devices it infects. All forms of malware are designed to cause harm. Their ability to cause harm, in fact, is what distinguishes malware from legitimate software. Disk-wiping malware lives up to its namesake by wiping the storage disks of infected computers and devices.

How Disk-Wiping Malware Works

Disk-wiping malware can work in different ways. In 2017, a variant of ransomware emerged with disk-wiping capabilities. It worked by targeting the master boot record of infected computers and devices with malicious code. The malicious code essentially locked the computers’ and devices’ data by encrypting it.

Other types of disk-wiping malware work by deploying scripts that automatically delete the data from infected computers and devices. Upon infecting a computer or device, they execute a script that deletes some or all of the stored data. There are dozens of types of disk-wiping malware. Nonetheless, they are all designed to harm infected computers and devices by deleting or otherwise rendering their stored data inaccessible.

Tips to Protect Against Disk-Wiping Malware

You can protect against disk-wiping malware by deploying conventional cybersecurity measures. Installing antivirus software on your computers and devices, for instance, will lower the risk of infection. Antivirus software doesn’t just protect against viruses; it protects against all forms of malware, including disk-wiping malware.

Being conscious of what software and files you can download can further lower your risk of sustaining a disk-wiping malware attack. You can still download software and files. Before doing so, however, make sure they are legitimate and come from a trusted source. The internet is a common vector for malware, so you should use caution when downloading software and files from it.

Using a firewall can protect your computers and devices from disk-wiping malware. A firewall is a filtration technology that designed to block bad traffic. You can deploy a firewall on your business’s network. Once deployed, it will authenticate verify that’s requesting access to your business’s network. If the traffic is potentially malicious, the firewall will block it.

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