A In Depth Look At Malware, Spy Ware, And Ad Ware

2077 words - 8 pages

This paper is designed to educate the reader on malware, spy-ware, and ad-ware. This paper will provide a definition and have specific examples of these three. This paper will also go in detail how each of them work and how to prevent and control them. If you think you know everything about the programs that run on a computer. Think again!Has a computer froze constantly? How about programs taking long periods of time to respond? Pop-ups constantly showing up or new unusual toolbars on a browser window? If so, these may be caused from malicious malware, spy-ware or ad-ware.First we will look at malware. From a historical perspective, malware started out slowly and rather gently. Different types of malware each have a different definition, but serve the same purpose; to use resources and to slow down the computer. Malware is any form of malicious software or unwanted source code that can run normally without the knowledge and permission of the user, causing unexpected results. That of which could be system outages, performance problems or opening a back door for hackers.The most common malware is the virus. A virus is usually a computer program hidden within another seemingly harmless program that produces copies of itself and inserts them into other programs or files that performs a malicious action.Viruses fall into six main classes. The first is macro viruses. Over 75% of today's viruses are Macro Viruses. It is a type of computer virus that is encoded as a macro embedded in a document, not a program. Once a macro virus gets onto a machine, it can embed itself in all future documents that are created with an application.Second virus is the boot sector virus. It infects the boot sector or partition table of a disk. Computer systems are most likely to be attacked by boot sector viruses when a user boots the system with an infected disk from the floppy drive. The boot attempt does not have to be successful for the virus to infect the hard drive.Third type of virus is the stealth virus which hides the modifications it makes. It does this by taking over the system functions, which read files or system sectors. Then when some other program requests information from portions of the disk the virus has changed. The virus reports the correct (unchanged) information instead of what's really there, which is the virus. Of course, the virus must be resident in memory and active in order to do this.Fourth are, file infecting or parasitic viruses that infect executable programs (generally, files that have extensions of .com or .exe). Its main way of affecting a system is to attach itself to executable files and replicates when the infected program is executed, by finding other executable files to infect (Stallings p.332). Most such viruses simply try to replicate and spread by infecting other host programs, but some inadvertently destroy the program they infect by overwriting some of the original code. There is a minority of these viruses that are very...

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