Common Malware Types to Know in 2020

Malware is malicious software that hackers develop to damage computer systems and compromise data. It bypasses security protocols and takes control of the system without the user’s knowledge. Today, numerous corporations and individuals suffer malware attacks that damage their reputation as a result of scandalous data breaches.

Customers may lose money due to identity theft, and organizations may end up paying large sums of money as ransom to attackers. Cybercriminals continue to rise as they are becoming more knowledgeable due to technological advancements. Users must understand the different types of malware and how they spread through systems. Whether it is ransomware or chrome virus, any individual or organization can suffer malware attacks.

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This article takes a closer look at the common malware types in 2020 and explains how to identify, eliminate, and keep your computer safe.


One of the most common malware types is a virus. It is a programming code that positions itself in a software application. When you open the app, the virus activates and starts spreading in the system. Once it infects the files, it steals sensitive information, paralyzes system operations or encrypts files for ransom. Viruses spread fast by infecting other files on the computer, or through sharing with other systems. It is challenging to eliminate viruses since you must remove it from the legit app first. Thus, most antivirus programs usually delete or quarantine all infected files to prevent the spread.

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Worms are self-replicating bugs that target exposed systems through flash drives, software vulnerabilities, or emails. Once it attacks a system, it steals user information, encrypts data, and causes DDoS (distributed denial of service attacks). Worms have existed since the mainframe days in the past and are more advanced in today’s dynamic technological world. When you notice a change in your computer’s performance or notice new or missing files, you may be under a worm attack. It spreads through phishing attacks and software loopholes. Famous worms include the IlOVE YOU, Stuxnet, and SQL Slammer.


When you are busy browsing the Internet, adware is stealing your data and sharing with malicious advertisers. It is a type of spyware that tracks your online activities to erode your privacy. Although it is not quite harmful since it does not install any app extensions on your machine, the virus is still quite annoying. You will frequently get pop up adverts on your computer based on your browsing activities. Moreover, the virus developers usually sell your data to third party advertising agencies without your permission, which is a severe breach.


It is a dangerous malware that masks itself as legit software and infiltrates the system. Ransomware encrypts all your data and takes over the system. The attackers then demand ransom to decrypt the data. However, the cybercriminals do not guarantee the decryption or safety of the files after payment. Numerous corporations worldwide have suffered from ransomware attacks since the malware causes a total shutdown to normal business operations. It bypasses all the security measures to take over the system. Examples of ransomware include Trojans, Clop, Cyptomix, and Locky.


A trojan is destructive malware that attacks computers and mobile devices. It tricks users into thinking it is a legit app so that they can download the software. Cybercriminals use it to gain access to PCs or corporate systems across the globe. It spreads through phishing attacks, malicious websites, and internet downloads.  Trojans do not self-replicate; hence, you need to avoid opening suspicious emails with attachments or visiting insecure websites. When your computer is infected with a Trojan, the attackers can steal data, access your financial data, and delete sensitive files. Examples of Trojan malware include DDoS, Downloader, Dropper, and Banker.

Fileless Malware

While fileless malware is not malware per se, it is a bug that exploits components of the operating system, such as the memory, APIs, registry keys, and other tasks. It is a subtle malware that is quite difficult to identify and eliminate. As the name suggests, it does not spread through the files since it is not executable or downloadable. Today, most cybercriminals prefer using the fileless malware to attack individuals and corporations since it infects the operating system directly. 


When you want to spy on your loved ones without their knowledge, the best malware to use is the spyware. Cybercriminals can also use it to steal users’ keystrokes and get their passwords. It is not dangerous since its primary intention is to spy on the activities of the victim. Therefore, it is easy to eliminate the malware from your device once you identify. When you have a software vulnerability, hackers can access and use spyware to monitor your activities and steal sensitive information.  


Another deadly malware is the rootkit software that infiltrates the system and controls all operations and privileges. The hackers inject it into apps, hypervisors, or kernels. It spreads through phishing attacks, online downloads, and infected shared drives. A rootkit comprises numerous malicious tools that can disable antivirus software programs, steal passwords, and cause DDoS attacks.


A keylogger malware tracks and monitors all your activities through the keyboard without accessing your monitor. While it can be used for legitimate purposes, hackers can also use keyloggers for criminal activities, such as stealing sensitive bank and login details. When you type on your keyboard, the malware records and sends the information to the attackers.


A bot is an app that executes many tasks automatically on command. Today, many software developers use it for good purposes, for instance, to index search engines. However, cybercriminals are using it to perform malicious attacks on systems. A collection of bots in a network forms a botnet, which controls all the cyberattacks from a centralized server. Botnet attacks are common, and numerous corporations have suffered the consequences of the malware. From leaked credentials to unauthorized access, DDoS attack to identity theft, botnets have become lethal as more cybercriminals continue to carry out corporate sabotage using the malware.

Today, many corporations have suffered malware attacks as hackers continue to use advanced bugs to attack systems. You must understand the malware types and how they spread if you want to know the best elimination method. Ensure that you take extra precautions to improve data security and protect your system from various malware attacks.

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