Antivirus (or anti-virus) software is used to safeguard/protect a computer from malware Including Viruses, Computer Worms, and Trojan Horses.
In this blog post, I'll show you what viruses exist in computers and different kinds of software that is capable of eliminating these threats.
A virus is a form of malware that is capable of copying itself and spreading to other computers. Viruses often spread to other computers by attaching themselves to various programs and executing code when a user launches one of those infected programs. Viruses can also spread through script files, documents, and cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in web apps. Viruses can be used to steal information, harm host computers and networks, create botnets, steal money, render advertisements, and more.
As the name suggested added on with the literal definition of the trojan horse used back then, “Trojan,” is a type of malware that disguises itself as a normal file or program to trick users into downloading and installing malware. A Trojan can give a malicious party remote access to an infected computer. Once an attacker has access to an infected computer, it is possible for the attacker to steal data (logins, financial data, even electronic money), install more malware, modify files, monitor user activity (screen watching, keylogging, etc), use the computer in botnets, and anonymize internet activity by the attacker.
Computer worms are among the most common types of malware. They spread over computer networks by exploiting operating system vulnerabilities. Worms typically cause harm to their host networks by consuming bandwidth and overloading web servers. Computer worms can also contain “payloads” that damage host computers. Payloads are pieces of code written to perform actions on affected computers beyond simply spreading the worm. Payloads are commonly designed to steal data, delete files, or create botnets. Computer worms can be classified as a type of computer virus, but there are several characteristics that distinguish computer worms from regular viruses. A major difference is that computer worms have the ability to self-replicate and spread independently while viruses rely on human activity to spread (running a program, opening a file, etc). Worms often spread by sending mass emails with infected attachments to users’ contacts.
Antivirus software may also remove or prevent spyware and adware, along with other forms of malicious programs.
Spyware is a type of malware that functions by spying on user activity without their knowledge. These spying capabilities can include activity monitoring, collecting keystrokes, data harvesting (account information, logins, financial data), and more. Spyware often has additional capabilities as well, ranging from modifying security settings of software or browsers to interfering with network connections. Spyware spreads by exploiting software vulnerabilities, bundling itself with legitimate software, or in Trojans.
Adware (short for advertising-supported software) is a type of malware that automatically delivers advertisements. Common examples of adware include pop-up ads on websites and advertisements that are displayed by software. Often times software and applications offer “free” versions that come bundled with adware. Most adware is sponsored or authored by advertisers and serves as a revenue generating tool. While some adware is solely designed to deliver advertisements, it is not uncommon for adware to come bundled with spyware (see below) that is capable of tracking user activity and stealing information. Due to the added capabilities of spyware, adware/spyware bundles are significantly more dangerous than adware on its own.
There are free and paid antivirus software.
Free antivirus software generally only searches your computer using signature-based detection which involves looking for patterns of data that are known to be related to already-identified malware.
- Avast Free Mac Security
- Avira Antivirus security
For chrome, I recommend using TrafficLight as it does a deep clean on your system.
Paid antivirus software will usually also include heuristics to catch new, or zero-day threats, by either using genetic signatures to identify new variants of existing virus code or by running the file in a virtual environment (also called a sandbox), and watching what it does to see if it has malicious intent.
- Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac
- ESET Antivirus for Mac
This sole purpose of this blog is to raise awareness to online malware, to educate people who didn't know this information and also teach them how to counter these issues.