Malware has become increasingly sophisticated over the years. It’s no longer limited to executable viruses. There are now dozens of different types of malware. While you’ve probably already heard of viruses, you may not be familiar with logic bombs and time bombs. They are new and advanced types of malware that operate on a timer. What are logic bombs and time bombs, and how do they differ exactly?

What Is a Logic Bomb?

A logic bomb is a piece of malware that’s designed to execute when certain conditions are met. Logic bombs don’t execute initially. You may unknowingly download a logic bomb, after which it will sit dormant on your computer’s storage drive. Only after certain conditions are met will the logic bomb will “blow up” and execute its malicious process.

What Is a Time Bomb?

A time bomb is a piece of malware that’s designed to execute at a predetermined time. It may carry a similar payload as a logic bomb. Both time bombs and logic bombs may deploy ransomware, delete data, consume system resources and more. Time bombs are simply on a timer, meaning they will only unload their payload after a certain amount of time has passed.

Differences Between Logic Bombs and Time Bombs

Logic bombs and time bombs are both types of “delayed” malware. Unlike most other types of malware, they don’t unload their payload initially upon being downloaded or opened. Rather, logic bombs and time bombs have a delayed action; they will wait a while before unloading their payload and executing their malicious processes.

The difference between logic bombs and time bombs lies in when, exactly, they unload their payload. They both unload their payload at some point in the future. Logic bombs, however, wait until certain conditions have been met. Time bombs, on the other hand, wait until a certain amount of time has passed. Logic bombs are essentially on a condition-based timer, whereas time bombs are on a time-based timer.

Logic bombs have conditional triggers. Conditional triggers may include user actions, system states and even specific events. There are no conditional triggers with time bombs. Time bombs are simpler, using only a time-based timer. Time bombs are programmed to activate at a predetermined time. At this time, they will unload their malicious payload, which can range from data deletion to system disruption or unauthorized access and more.