Malware – Malware is programming or files that are developed for the purpose of doing harm. Thus, malware includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, hijackers, and certain type of adware.
This article will focus on those malware that are considered viruses, trojans, worms, and viruses, though this information can be used to remove the other types of malware as well. We will not go into specific details about any one particular infection, but rather provide a broad overview of how these infections can be removed. For the most part these instructions should allow you to remove a good deal of infections, but there are some that need special steps to be removed and these won’t be covered under this tutorial.
Before we continue it is important to understand the generic malware terms that you will be reading about.
Adware – A program that generates pop-ups on your computer or displays advertisements. It is important to note that not all adware programs are necessarily considered malware. There are many legitimate programs that are given for free that display ads in their programs in order to generate revenue. As long as this information is provided up front then they are generally not considered malware.
Backdoor – A program that allows a remote user to execute commands and tasks on your computer without your permission. These types of programs are typically used to launch attacks on other computers, distribute copyrighted software or media, or hack other computers.
Dialler – A program that typically dials a premium rate number that has per minute charges over and above the typical call charge. These calls are with the intent of gaining access to pornographic material.
Hijackers – A program that attempts to hijack certain Internet functions like redirecting your start page to the hijacker’s own start page, redirecting search queries to a undesired search engine, or replace search results from popular search engines with their own information.
Spyware – A program that monitors your activity or information on your computer and sends that information to a remote computer without your knowledge.
Trojan – A program that has been designed to appear innocent but has been intentionally designed to cause some malicious activity or to provide a backdoor to your system.
Virus – A program that when run, has the ability to self-replicate by infecting other programs and files on your computer. These programs can have many effects ranging from wiping your hard drive, displaying a joke in a small box, or doing nothing at all except to replicate itself. These types of infections tend to be localized to your computer and not have the ability to spread to another computer on their own. The word virus has incorrectly become a general term that encompasses trojans, worms, and viruses.
Worm – A program that when run, has the ability to spread to other computers on its own using either mass-mailing techniques to email addresses found on your computer or by using the Internet to infect a remote computer using known security holes.
Article by Lawrence Abrams
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