What is malware

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The term malware

Malware stands for Malicious Software and means "malicious computer programs".

How malware works

The malicious functions of the malware are usually covert and run in the background. Depending on the target of the malicious code, it can delete or manipulate files unnoticed or pass the user's behavior on to third parties without being asked.

Usually, the programs cannot be removed by simply uninstalling a program, since it is often unclear which installed program contains them. In addition, even after standard uninstallation, software fragments may remain in the system that continue to perform unwanted functions.

The classification

Malware is the umbrella term for malicious software. This term summarizes different types of software with different goals. These can be used individually or in combination with one another.

These malicious programs include:

  • computer viruses
  • Trojans
  • spyware
  • Adware
  • Scareware
  • Ransomware
  • Keylogger
  • Grayware


You can find more information about the different types of malware in our wiki.

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The dissemination

As an IT security company, ProSec GmbH has set up a server environment that acts as a honeypot system. This honeypot is used to "lure" malware. This gives us the opportunity to detect and analyze new threats.

The evaluations show a steady increase. While the number of new types of malware was still 2008 malware programs per day in 25.000, 10 years later a number of around 500.000 new malware samples per day was found. Most of the new malware types fall into the Trojan horse category at 81,9%, followed by adware at 14,7%; the other places are occupied by worms, backdoors and ransomware.

Windows PCs are more vulnerable than macOS operating systems to the attack. This is because the Windows operating systems are more widespread than macOS. It is therefore primarily written for these systems, since attacks on them have a higher probability of success.

How to protect yourself from malware?

The most important protective shield is security software, including virus scanners and firewalls. As an end user, you have the choice between free and paid anti-malware programs. However, it should be noted that only 41% of malware is now detected by security programs. Accordingly, the remaining 59% can only be covered individually, e.g. B. through Penetration Testing or Vulnerability Analysisn.

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Our Conclusion

Since the types and types of malware are constantly evolving, it is necessary to install available security updates for all your programs, virus scanners and operating systems.

In addition, appropriate sensitization, including through IT security training, is essential in the day-to-day use of PC systems in relation to IT security. Last but not least, the human factor plays a decisive role in the security of your IT system.

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