Xygeni Security Glossary

Software Development & Delivery Security Glossary

What is Malware?

What is Malware? #

Malware software most commonly shorted as Malware is any software that is purposely designed to cause damage, disruption, attack, or gain unauthorized access to the computer system. Each type is characterized by different behavior towards the infectivity of causing harm or, in some instances, stealing data from the target device. 

Why is Malware Important? #

Malware’s Profound Impact on Software Development and Security

Malware has become a significant threat to modern software development and security, especially with the growing reliance on third-party software. This dependence introduces vulnerabilities, as evidenced by the staggering statistic: the AV-TEST Institute registers and classifies over 450,000 new malicious programs (malware) and potentially unwanted applications (PUA) every single day. This constant influx of malware compromises the integrity, safety, and functionality of the software, along with the data it handles.

The threat landscape underscores the need for constant vigilance and proactive measures. Integrating robust security practices throughout the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC) is crucial to prevent unauthorized or malicious software from infiltrating systems. Since malware’s nature is constantly changing, cybersecurity measures must be adaptable to effectively protect against both current and future threats.

Motives Behind Malware #

  • Financial Gain: Some malware aims to profit by stealing sensitive data or extorting money.
  • Sabotage: Malware can hinder productivity, making it difficult to work effectively.
  • Political or Personal Statements: Occasionally, malware is used to make a point or gain notoriety.

Types of Malware #

  • Virus: Replicates by modifying other computer programs, spreading across systems, and sometimes causing significant damage.
  • Worm: Operates independently to exploit vulnerabilities, often consuming bandwidth and delivering harmful payloads.
  • Trojan Horse: Masquerades as beneficial software while performing malicious operations without replication.
  • Ransomware: Encrypts victim’s files, demanding payment for decryption keys.
  • Spyware: Secretly gathers user information, risking privacy and security.
  • Adware: Displays unwanted ads, potentially compromising security to deliver targeted advertisements.
  • Rootkit: Grants root-level control to conceal malicious activities, making detection and removal challenging.
  • Keylogger: Records keystrokes to capture sensitive information such as passwords and credit card details.

Key Consequences of Malware: #

  • Data Loss: Malware can steal personal information, financial data, and intellectual property.
  • System Damage: Malware can corrupt files, damage hardware, and disrupt critical operations.
  • Financial Loss: Malware can steal money directly or through extortion schemes.

Conclusion: #

The malware problem persists in software development, supply chain security, and overall business systems. Organizations can protect themselves by understanding the different types of malware and implementing measures to secure their information. Embracing a proactive security posture based on best practices and continuous improvement is essential to combat the evolving threats from malware.

For a more in-depth exploration of malicious code, visit our blog post: What is Malicious Code and How Does It Work?

Watch Xygeni Video Demo

Explore Xygeni's Features Watch our Video Demo

Watch Xygeni Video Demo

Explore Xygeni's Features Watch our Video Demo