In recent times computer security of users has been at stake due to increased cyber and malware attacks. Computer users are prone to these threats as attacks have increased multifold in recent times. These computer security threats come in various forms and malicious content like malware, viruses, spyware, adware, Botnet, ransomware, and others. Let’s discuss top 5 computer security threats of recent times.
Virus: A Virus can replicate itself and infect a system without the knowledge or permission of the user. This small piece of software can spread when it is transmitted by a user via the Internet or over a network. It can also infect system removable media or external devices such as CDs or USB drives. These viruses can delete your important data, reformat the system hard disk, cause system crash or other losses. Even these viruses take up system memory and may cause erratic behavior on your system. These virus threats can be prevented significantly using anti-virus programs.
Ransomware: Ransomware is a malware which attacks user’s system and gets installed on it without user’s consent. It executes a malicious Crypto virology attacks to affect user’s computer adversely. Advanced Ransomware encrypts the victim’s files and other data making them inaccessible to the user and demands a ransom payment to decrypt it. It can also encrypt the system’s Master File Table or the entire hard disk. Ransomware is a form of denial-of-access attack where it prevents users from using their own system. These attacks are generally carried out using Trojan.
Phishing: In Phishing attacks, a phony web page is created and produced by the user that looks similar to a legitimate web page. This phony web page remains on a server of the attacker thus the attacker keeps full control of the page. Using these phony web pages’ users are tricked by attackers as users think they are on the legitimate page or trusted website. These phony web pages are created to steal user’s information like their names, passwords, credit & debit card details, and other sensitive information. Phishing attacks are generally carried out by email or instant messaging where compromised links are shared with the users.
Spyware: Spyware is a small piece of software program that is secretly installed on a system without the user’s consent. Spyware programs are used to keep a tab on user’s activities. These programs can collect a lot of sensitive and personal information of user like credit & debit card details, financial transactions, website visited, usernames & passwords etc. These programs can redirect web browsers to malicious websites or can install other malware easily. Spyware can affect system speed and performance negatively.
Botnet: A Botnet is also known as “Zombie Army” is a collection of software robots (or bots) that run automated tasks over the Internet. The term “Botnet” is commonly used to refer to a distributed network or compromised system (called “Zombie computer”) This “Zombie Army” run programs such as Trojan horses, worms or backdoors. Recent Botnet versions can automatically scan its environment and propagate themselves using various vulnerabilities on the system. They are used to launch Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks against various websites.
Above mentioned computer security threats can affect computers significantly. These threats can cause data loss or can block user access to their own system. Apart from these threats, there are many other threats as well like Worm, Trojan Horse, Keystroke logging, Adware, Spoofing, Pharming and lot others that can make your system crawl or sometimes halt the operations on it.
By Sarah Connor