What is Malware?


Malware is a malicious software that is intended to disable certain files or the entire device it is attached to. There are different types of malware programs that each attack your device differently with the same end game, to infect your device, and hopefully others before you notice you’ve been compromised.

  • Trojan Horse Viruses
    • Similar to the Trojan Horse in the story of Troy, these viruses come in disguised as a legitimate program, and proceed to infect the system.
    • Once on the system Trojans can create a backdoor that can allow a cyber-criminal access to your device, which would in turn give them access to your personal information (SSN, and banking info). Trojans differ in that they do not reproduce by infecting other files, they also do not self-replicate.
  • Viruses
    • Are named for the way they spread, much like the flu, a virus can spread from user to user, but in order to replicate it depends on a host file. Meaning it needs to be downloaded to the device with the file the cyber-criminal created, so that it has access to the malicious code.
    • The goal of the virus is to alter the way the infected device operates. Some of the results include damaging the systems hardware and destroying data.
  • Worms
    • Are a version of malware that is self-replicating, unlike a traditional virus worms do not need to be controlled by a cyber-criminal, and do not rely on any additional computer applications for function.
    • The goal of a worm is to spread malicious code, exploit vulnerabilities, and spread across networks.
  • Pay attention when you’re opening emails
    • Often times we breeze through because we want to clear out inbox, but taking an extra minute to read the senders information and the subject line can keep you proceeded
  • If you don’t know the sender, don’t open the email or download any attachments.
    • Even if the sender is someone you’re familiar with or do business with, pay attention to the subject line, senders email address, and body of the email. Look for spelling mistakes, hover over any URLS to see where they will take you (DO NOT CLICK ON ANY SUSPICIOUS LINKS) and if possible contact the sender to verify the contents of the email.

Detailed information regarding passwords and other IT security topics are available on our IT Security website at: SecureIT.Fordham.edu or from our blog at itsecurity.blog.fordham.edu

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact IT Customer Care at (718) 817-3999 or via email to: HelpIT@fordham.edu.


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