How to Identify & Prevent Different Types of Malware Attacks

January 25, 2021
how to identify & prevent different types of malware attacks

Malware attacks are one of the common types of cyber attacks, where malicious software is executed in the host system in an unauthorized way without the knowledge of the victim. Malware is a special type of malicious code or software that is specifically designed to attack computer systems, networks, and servers. Malware is designed to have unauthorized access to the system for executing the planned attack.

It is one of the common types of cyber attacks, where malicious software is executed in the host system in an unauthorized way without the knowledge of the victim. There are multiple types of attacks that can be categorized as Ransomware, viruses, denial of service, command control, and other types of attacks.

The malware is developed by people known as cyber attackers, who mostly create, use, and sell malware. Many times in the past, some criminal syndicates, well-known business houses, and even state-sponsored actors were accused or caught in the deployment of malware. At times the damage by some malware attacks is so severe that it becomes the news of the channels.

There can be many different reasons for directed malware attacks but most of the time it is used to steal financial, personal, and business information. Cyber attackers have their own techniques to access the credentials and personal information of their target system.

Types of Malware Attacks

Identifying Different Types of Malware Attacks

  • Trojan horse

This program misleads the user for its actual intent. It is installed to be useful but the program steals the information. Most of the time it is downloaded by users from the internet or email attachment believing it to be a helpful application, but in the end, it inflicts ultimate harm on the target system.

  • Virus

A virus is a self-replicating malware, which infects the other set of program files and operating system of a host system. The attack on the host system is delivered through code injection and can be serious as it can impact the many system files compromising the entire host system.

  • Worm

The worm is also a kind of self-propagating malware, but unlike viruses and Trojan horses the damage is not localized to a host system, but it replicates to the other host system without the knowledge of the end user. Worms multiply it and they use computer memory which causes the computer to stop. Attackers put the worm into the system, which infects the user system, the worm multiplies itself and then the targeted website is attacked by the worm.

  • Adware

This type of malware is also delivered through the internet, which is used mostly by marketers. Adware is a kind of malware that automatically pop-ups advertisements. Such ads show free content that delivers malware through advertisements to the user.


  • Spyware

 As the name suggests the prime motive of this program is to spy on the end user, by collecting user information and passwords, his personal information, and browsing information, which may formulate part of possible future attacks. It monitors the user’s activities without the permission of the user.

  • Malvertising

This type of malware uses Ads to inject malicious code into the victim’s system. These ads are put on the victim’s computer system through legal digital ads.

  • Ransomware

Ransomware is an attack that takes control of the user’s machine and is amongst the deadliest attacks. It infects the host system; encrypts the files with the attacker holding the decryption key. The attacker demands ransom for providing the decryption key and hence the term ransomware comes into the picture. These types of attacks are on the rise with attackers targeting large-scale enterprises and government departments.

malware attacks

Preventing Malware Attacks

  1. Reputed Antivirus Programs

These antivirus programs are used for the purpose of detecting malware that is trying to enter the user system. If an antivirus is installed in the system, it will protect the system from possible malware. It is necessary that this antivirus in the system is updated from time to time. Malware entering the system can be detected in a number of ways such as signature-based detection, and cloud antivirus in which scanning for viruses is done at a remote location.

  1. Continuous User Education

A person must be aware of malware practices and should always be careful while browsing the internet, opening different attachments, and should not randomly download and run the programs. Users should not open unknown emails from random persons or should cautiously do so, malware can be there in web links that are different from actual ones or are having short URLs.

  1. Enhancing Network Security

Proper processes and procedures should be adopted by network administrators to avoid unauthorized access to their systems. Users must have controlled access to their company’s network. Access to the network should be given to the person with his unique identification number, name, or id. Remote access can be given only through the secured virtual private network. It will prevent possible attacks on the system.

Network Security

  1. Be an informed user

Users should be aware of what they are doing on the Internet. Pop-up ads should not be clicked to prevent malware attacks. Users should be updated on all the current malware practices going on on the Internet.

  1. Maintenance of Regular Backups

Data and code on critical systems and servers should be regularly backed, preferably on external back media. This arrangement can be helpful in case there is any attack and there is the potential of losing important data in the course of an attack. Maintaining regular backup practices can help in the recovery of important information stored at the other end.

  1. Website Audits on a Regular Basis

Public websites should be subjected to security audits on a regular basis. By arranging audits on a predefined basis, critical vulnerabilities can be identified much earlier and can be closed before this can become a potential risk as an actual event.


Over these years, it has been observed that attackers used various methods of delivery of malware. The attacks are generally carried out over communication modes like emails, text, insecure networks, or insecure websites, but it was also seen that it was also achieved via means of physical media such as thumb drives, CDs/DVDs, and so on. To prevent these malware attacks users must install authentic antivirus which is up to date, there should be regular backups to prevent the risk of damage or loss.