1. Technology
Malware is short for "malicious software" and is an umbrella term used to refer to viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, adware, and other forms of malicious code. Malware can be spread by any means a normal file might be shared -- including between drives, over the network, and via the Internet. Much of today's malware is spread via websites (typically compromised legitimate sites), email, social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace, and instant messaging.
  1. Understanding Viruses
  2. Web-Delivered Malware
  3. Social Engineering Attacks

Understanding Viruses

Depending on who you ask, the term virus can be used to refer to many different things. Unfortunately, this mislabeling can be problematic. It's important to understand the distinctions as it can play an important role in your defenses. For example, many refer to worms as viruses, but the techniques for cleaning a system infected with a worm are completely different than the steps for disinfecting a virus. These links will help you understand what a virus really is and how it compares to worms, trojans, and other forms of malware.

Web-Delivered Malware

There's an old acronym in the computing industry - WYSIWYG. Pronounced "wizzy-wig", it stands for "What You See Is What You Get". While that used to be true with computers, today nothing could be further from the truth. Today, many of the websites we trust and visit routinely are being compromised and hidden code references are being inserted. While you can't see any visible signs of the compromise, that hidden code reference is silently loading exploits and malware onto susceptible visitors' computers. This turns another old saying on its head: What you can't see can hurt you.

Social Engineering Attacks

Cybercriminals know that the best way to breach defenses is to trick the user into doing something harmful. Their methods range from cleverly worded email, to fake websites, to even phone and snail mail. Everyone is a potential target and anyone who uses the Web risks social engineering attacks each time they open their email or browse to a website.

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