HomeCYBERSECURITYWhat Is Malware, And What Are Its Main Types

What Is Malware, And What Are Its Main Types

Much is heard about virtual attacks that damage systems, cause financial losses, and intercept data, among other damages. Most of the time, they use malware, so-called malicious software.

What Is Malware?

As the name implies, malware is malicious software whose main objective is to cause damage or any form of harm to different systems.

In this way, it invades computers, networks, tablets, and mobile devices, damaging or disabling them and taking partial control of their operations.

Usually, these attacks intend to earn money illegally since, when capturing data, those responsible for the attack encrypt the files and demand a ransom so that the user can recover them.

Unfortunately, it is enough to be connected online for malware to gain access to your system, as it can enter by downloading infected files, opening malicious email attachments, and browsing a website that has been hacked, among many other possibilities.

That is, virtually anything downloaded from the internet to a device without a good quality anti-malware security system.

What Can Malware Do?

Although it is impossible to damage the physical hardware of equipment, malware can steal, delete and encrypt data, compromising, altering, or hijacking essential functions of a computer. 

Furthermore, it can monitor device activity without user knowledge or consent. Therefore, the consequences range from just the victim’s frustration to more severe cases where information theft can lead to financial fraud and identity theft.

In this way, this difference in functioning will depend on the type of malware used, and therefore, we will present you with the most common ones used by cybercriminals today. Check it out:

What Types Of Malware Exist?

Most malware out there fits into one of the following categories, depending on how it works. Therefore, they are:


This model works so that it blocks access to files or a device itself until there is a ransom. Thus, devices with stored vital information are most subject to this attack.


It gathers information about some devices and provides it to the attacking cyber-criminal. Typically, this malware monitors someone’s internet activity by collecting personal information about them. For example, login and financial data are used to commit fraud or even identity theft.

Trojan Horse

A Trojan horse is another type of malware that infiltrates devices by appearing to be legitimate software. 

Its name alludes to Greek history, where the Athenians entered the city of Troy hidden inside a giant wooden horse and left as soon as the Trojans got them inside.

Thus, once this malware is installed, it activates on the device and may even download additional malware in the process.


A botnet is not exactly a type of malware but a network or computer code that has been infected by malicious software and, therefore, can be controlled remotely; that is, they respond to the commands of the responsible hacker.

Also known as zombie computers, they are often used to send spam or viruses, steal personal data, and create fake ads in browsers. Today, botnets are considered one of the biggest online threats out there. 


A worm is malware that can increase. After hacking and infecting one device, it replicates and spreads to other devices and remains active.

Some of them work as a way to install additional malware, while others reproduce and do not cause damage to the devices but overload their networks.


Adware works by displaying unwanted advertisements to its victim. They are commonly presented in the form of free games or browser toolbars.

Furthermore, they can collect personal information belonging to the device owner to customize the advertisements that appear for the device. Although most of them are installed legally, they annoy the user like any other malware.

Finally, now that you’ve seen the damage a malware infection can cause and its main types, we’ll teach you how to remove this malicious software to end the headaches they cause.

How To Remove Malware? 

In most cases, it can be removed and devices restored to normal. In such cases, browse the internet and look for guides on removing malware from computers, Macs, iPhones, and Android devices. There are several with detailed descriptions that you can follow to get rid of them.

However, some do not have such an easy removal process once they settle on systems, and therefore, the most viable way to ensure that they are permanently removed is to opt for malware removal tools.

Several available in the market are specially made to detect this unwanted software and remove them from all your devices.

Also Read: Five Ways To Promote Digital Security In Your Company

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