A leak in privacy or unauthorized access to the computer system, mobile phone, or tablet is everyone’s worst nightmare. Imagine the horror of it, your data being monitored or accessed by someone sitting on a couch seven seas across. It happens to many people. They get hacked, have their data stolen, blackmailed, robbed of their bank balance, or even get their identity stolen and misused for illegal activities or criminal intents. It can easily destroy anyone so how to Get Rid from Computer Malware. Public figures, businessmen, politicians, and social influencers are hot targets.
In this article, we are going to provide vital information about what exactly malware is, how to know if you are infected, how to clean the computer virus infection, and how to shield yourself and prevent malware infection.
What exactly malware is?
Simply, malicious software variants that pose threat to your privacy and sensitive information stored on your system or mobile device are called malware. it is a code developed by hackers or cyber attackers to invade and control your system. It could be a virus, a worm, ransomware, or spyware. The most common types of malware are listed and described below.
Said to be the most common and foremost type of malware. named after a biological virus for its operational similarity. They enter the computer system with an executable file and then they attach malicious code with the clean code and remain hidden until executed automated process or itself by the user.
History of computer viruses
The first non-experimental and the fully functional virus was developed by two Pakistani brothers, Basit Farooq Alvin and Amjad Farooq Alvin in January 1986. Virtually harmless but frustratingly annoying ‘Brain’ virus was just a harmless way to regulate the software they made. many people were using their software illegally by cracking it. The brain would copy itself into the computer and whenever their software was illegally installed on the system then they would simply receive a pirated text in infected boot sectors saying
“Welcome to the Dungeon (c) 1986 Amjads (PVT) Ltd VIRUS_SHOE RECORD V9.0 Dedicated to the dynamic memories of millions of viruses who are no longer with us today – Thanks GOODNESS!!! BEWARE OF THE er…VIRUS: this program is catching program follows after these messages…. $#@%$@!!”
“Welcome to the Dungeon © 1986 Basit & Amjads (pvt). BRAIN COMPUTER SERVICES 730 NIZAM
BLOCK ALLAMA IQBAL TOWN LAHORE-PAKISTAN PHONE: 430791,443248,280530. Beware of this VIRUS…. Contact us for vaccination…”
This virus was deliberately non-destructive still highly ingenious. Brothers received thousands of calls from across the globe and people contacted them asking for inoculation.
Trojan Horse Virus
Inspired by the Greek historical event of Falling of the city ‘Troy’, it was named after the trojan horse responsible for it. A trojan or trojan horse is a type of virus embedded in some file that the hacker wants you to download, as you download, the file will execute itself without you noticing and will download several other programs in the background without you noticing.
Those programs will be able to monitor, encrypt, or decrypt your data, modify, delete, or send it to another third party. As soon as these programs execute and send data back to the hacker, your passwords and accounts will be compromised. Now hackers may ask for ransom or withdraw all your money from your bank account or use your account for illegal criminal intents. He may steal your social media accounts and so your identity.
unlike viruses, worms do not need to be initiated or executed. Once they have breached the system, they will self-replicate and execute without any command and will serve the purpose they were coded for. It makes it tricky to root out because when you learn about them, they would have most probably served their purpose, and your information most probably already compromised.
These types of viruses are coded with the sole intent to hijack your system, lock you out of your system decrypt all of your files. then you will be required to pay the ransom money to gain back your files and access.
5 Deadliest Computer Malware
Coded by two Filipinos, Reonel Ramones, and Onel de Guzman. ILOVEYOU virus was so swift and spread like jungle fire. Believed to infect 10% of the whole world’s computer systems and caused $ 10 billion worth of damage, it spread through email which seemed like a love confession. It caused so much wreck and havoc that E-Commerce law was enacted.
Another frustrating virus, this virus was named Melissa who was an exotic dancer from Florida. Codes in 1999 by David L. Smith, targeted a human behaviour ‘Lust’. It was a word document people downloaded from alt.sex usenet group thinking that it contains a list of ids and passwords for pornographic sites. As soon as the document was opened, Melissa unleashed its payload, replicating itself and mailing itself to the top 50 contacts in the user’s mail book. It spread so rapidly that it disrupted mail services at a destructive level. Corrupting documents and disrupting email services of several cooperation and governments, this virus caused $ 80 million of reported damage.
Compromising several thousand FTP accounts and systems of multinational banks and cooperation, enabling the controllers of this virus to steal $ 70 million in 2009. Zeus botnet was a trojan horse virus spread through scamming and phishing. Notable names like Cisco, Oracle, BOA- Bank of America, and Amazon fell prey to its attack.
Rumored to be coded and unleashed by Israeli Défense force to sabotage the Iranian Nuclear program, Stuxnet was transmitted through us drive or any other hard medium. It is said to be responsible for destroying one-fifth of centrifuges being used in Iran’s Nuclear Program. It was a worm designed with the sole intention to attack. And take control of automated processes in machinery. It altered the speed of the machinery’s automated process. Which destroyed or tore it apart.
With an estimated number of 500,000 systems, Evgeniy Bogachev transmitted this ransomware through multiple sources making it extremely difficult to avoid. It was a trojan horse, which once found itself into a windows computer, replicated and spread itself through a great number of routes. It encrypted all the files present on the system and required ransom money to be paid before the deadline to get the decryption key. Ransom money was about 400 dollars needed to be paid through cash or in bitcoin.
Although the first virus ‘Brain’ was not deadly many that followed were. Some of them were so harmful that they caused a billion dollars of damage. They are described below.
Ingenious Ways to Detect Malware Infection
To stay protected from a malware infection, knowing how to detect one is inevitable. Knowing how malware infection sneaks in is crucial to fight against it. we are going to discuss the 5 most common and excessively found symptoms of a malware infection. If you are experiencing some of these then there is a huge chance that your computer has been compromised.
If while browsing you are getting annoying popups then your system is compromised. From annoying, we refer to popups that never end. You close one another pops. They will get on your nerves. With every pop up you click, there is a high probability of getting a virus.
Whenever you open a browser, you will be redirected to pages you didn’t even search for. In the worst case, they will redirect you to such links that auto-download malware into your system.
If you see unfamiliar icons on your desktop, mobile phone, or laptop. Then your system is compromised. It means that there is an active malware that is auto-downloading applications getting hold of your system as we speak.
Surprise! You have a new browser homepage like yahoo.com or Bing or Taobao. This is frustrating as hell. No matter how many times you change it, the active malware on your system will change it again and will drive you crazy. This is another potent symptom of malware activated and your computer hijacked.
Hackers infect systems for two reasons. Money or sensitive information. You will see a note from the hacker asking for ransom money as all of your files will be infected and encrypted with a password that only he knows and will tell you only after you send the ransom money and mostly the mode of transaction is a cryptocurrency and the route untraceable. You will need to buy bitcoins and then will have to transfer them to the hacker as your ransom amount. Only then you will get your files back.
Another ingenious and decisive technique designed by hackers through social engineering human behaviour. It targets human curiosity! They might send you an email with a catchy statement like I love you, congratulations on your winning of the lottery, etc. once you open the mail, malware seeps into your computer system decisively. If you have received and opened unexpected emails from contacts unknown to you then there is a high probability that you have been compromised.
How to Prevent Malware infection in the first place
The best way to stay safe is to prevent malware infection in the first place. Now we are going to tell you some ingenious methods to prevent malware infection. Following are the techniques you can employ to stay safe.
Cracked or Pirated Software Programs
Getting free premier software may sound good but remember that nothing is free, everything comes at a price. Pirated or cracked software always requires disabled anti-virus software to install. This software has a high probability to contain a virus, worm, or trojan horse. Executing that software will also execute the virus-associated. Disabled antivirus or system security will pave an easy path for hackers to viruses in your system. to avail malware infection, say no to cracked or pirated software.
Unwanted Software Programs
Always keep your system clean, do not keep any unwanted software on your system as they may pose a serious threat. Also, clean memory will boost your system performance too. This is a win-win situation.
Keep a keen eye on processes in Task Manager
Press ALT + CTRL + Delt keys together and select the task manager. There you will find a list of ongoing processes. Occasionally view those processes and keep a keen eye on unwanted programs running in the background. Uninstall or disable them as per your convenience. It will save you from possible malware invasion.
Keep Eagle Eye on Emails
Emails are the most common and most significant source of phishing scams. If you receive an email from a contact unknown to you with an unexpected extraordinary subject line, do not open it. Keep in mind the ILVEYOU phishing scam we told you about earlier. Simply select it, mark it as a scam, block the contact and delete all the emails from the scam section. If you receive an unexpecting email from a contact you know, still don’t open it. read it with an eagle eye, contact that person from some other medium or simply call him/ her on their phone number to make sure if they intentionally sent it to you or their account is compromised. We bet these tips will save you from a sure regret.
Tech Support Scams
You might receive a call from someone claiming to be the tech support. They may introduce themselves from Xyz tech company and may ask about your account details or password information saying that they are verifying your account. Simply cut the call, remember the Xyz company they told you about, search for their official helpline number and inquire the authorized customer care professional if they are conducting phone calls to verify accounts. This ingenious and clever technique will protect you from being scammed on the first hand.
Sometimes hacker’s brute forces your account passwords. They use programs that try several hundred obvious passwords and combinations to crack your password. If your password is a small and obvious one then this weak password will fall prey to brute force attack pretty easily. Adding a combination of uppercase and lower-case alphabets along with a few numeric and symbols will skyrocket your password strength and will make it nearly impossible to brute force your password.
If the hacker is connected to the same internet as you are, he can obtain your computer IP address pretty easily and may attempt to backdoor and monitor your activities. Avoid making online transactions while being connected to public WIFI hotspots.
Never stay Logged in
Before you shut down your system, log out of all of your accounts. So, if someone even backdoors into your system remotely he must not find any open session. Also completely shut down your system don’t keep it on sleep for too long or don’t keep it connected to the internet for long periods.
Premium Anti-Virus Services
Keep a premium and purchased anti-virus on your system. it is the best line of defense and never let your guard down. Keep your anti-virus program set to auto-updates so whenever a new virus definition is out you get automatically prepared for it.
Always keep an active firewall while browsing the internet, it will protect your system against auto-downloading malicious contents and malware infections.
Always download from reliable and trusted sources, do not fall prey to ‘premium software for free’ download advertisements. As ‘malvertising’ is another decisive way to tick you.
How to get rid of Malware Infection
Always keep a backup of all your files and sensitive information. In case you get a malware infection simply clean your entire system and restore your back up. It is the most secure and easiest way to get rid of malware infection. Keeping a secure external hard drive is the most reliable and secure method to keep your data safe.
If you suspect malware in your system, scan your whole system with anti-virus software, it will detect, isolate, and terminate the virus securing your system. as the computer viruses advanced and caused havoc, on the bright side, the anti-virus databases grew too. Having a good antivirus on your system will immediately detect a virus before it executes. Antiviruses have several features against malicious malware. You can either test whether a program is safe to run in the antivirus sandbox, isolate it along with the infected files, repair the infected files, or simply delete the virus-containing file. Your anti-virus is your front line of defense. Buying a yearly subscription to anti-virus software will save you from regret and ransom money.
If you suspect a virus in your computer system that slipped your anti-virus somehow, fortunately, there is a safe mode option on your computer system. When you run your system on safe mode, only secure system programs will run on your system and all other activities will be blocked. In short, the virus will be unable to execute itself. Once in safe mode, you can use anti-virus software to run a deep scan on your system to catch and root out that sneaky virus. You can learn how to enter the safe mode on your computer from the following easy steps.
- Hit the restart button
- Tap F8 tilllthe “Windows Advanced Boot Options Menu” option appear
- Chose Safe Mode and then select “Safe mode with networking”
- When you enter windows, update your anti-virus definitions.
- Run a deep scan and then it will detect the virus and kill it.
Update Operating System
Update your computer operating system if you suspect a virus. You will get your infected system files fixed and repaired and your virus definitions updated. It will most probably kill the virus and secure your system.
When you suspect a virus, reset your passwords for your social media and bank accounts. Even if your previous sensitive information was compromised. You will stay protected as it would be rendered invalid now.