In the current era of digitization, safeguarding our digital footprints is a tough challenge. Anyone who has a bare minimum insight of digital facts knows that the cyber world is based on the flow and transfer of data in the binary format. Accessing and deciphering such data in such a format requires extensive programming expertise.
As a result, a huge amount of professionals is rising regularly in the Information Technology field.
Malware: What are they?
The term malware is a portmanteau (a combination of parts taken from multiple words) that uses the part ‘mal’ from the word malicious and ware from the other word software. The etymology of the word itself provides the definition, which is any software created with an ill intention of harming the end-users if they ever are exposed to using the software.
Malware is often confused with software bugs. However, upon close observation, the differences between can be understood quite easily. While malware is created for the sole intent of harming the end-users, software bugs are kind of honest mistakes during software development that somehow seeped into the real-time environment.
Another aspect that separates malware from software bugs is that the harm imposed by malware is irreversible and needs legal assistance concerning criminal activities, whereas the issues caused by software bugs are duly taken care of by the software producing and maintenance companies often in ways of compensations in one way or another.
One might often wonder about the timelines of malware evolution. A close look into the malware world would point to the fact that malware has been in existence ever since the birth of computing. Computer viruses and their ideas have been wreaking havoc since the late 1940s. However, documented viruses began ravaging since the 1970s. However, the present-day malware is much more vicious than its previous counterparts.
Types of Most Common Malware
Malware form the foundation of Law Offices of Kathleen G. Alvarado. They are further divided into various categories. The categorization of malware is dependent on the way they replicate rather than their behavior. Some of the most popular categories of malware are:
The most common type of malware is computer viruses. The mass population is aware of their existence in the present world. The most interesting pattern of a virus is that it is usually hidden in seemingly harmless software, clawing in its talons into the system when the host software interacts with the hardware and the operating system of the machine.
An interesting malware, which when attacks the system, locks the screen of your machine and demands a ransom to unlock your machine and start working. The only other way to evade is to reboot your operating system thus leading to the loss of your precious data.
This kind of malware has a shell of harmless innocence but upon interacting with the system they start to wreak havoc just like the wooden horse full of Mycenaean soldiers did to the ancient Greek city of Troy.
These viruses are also called wabbit, rabbit, or rabbit jobs, because of their hopping and self-replicating nature at a rapid pace thereby slowing down the system to a great deal. While these programs are not much of that harmful in their own accord, they when combined with other data-stealing malware can have devastating effects.
This malware is a huge threat to the global digital society. Upon interacting with the system, they not only have unauthorized access to the data but are also responsible for shipping the information to individuals having malicious intent.
As the name suggests, they consist of typically injecting ads to the web pages that we usually visit on the internet. The problem is not with the ads but the various other malware, which might attack our system in case those ads are clicked even just by mistakes.
The major problem with such malware is detection. Such malware runs ghost jobs. Therefore, they are often not affected by the security system thereby staying in the system undetected and hiding other malware in plain sight.
Many other categories of malware are rampant in the cyber world like Octopus, exploit codes, worms, to name some.
Digital Strategies to fight against Malware
Information and Technology researchers have been actively inventing and implementing various codes and methods to keep malware off from the systems. However, with each passing day, the nature of malware keeps evolving into a better one, which in turn demands an equal rate of advancement in the design and creations of the anti-malware system.
Some of the most common strategies to fight off malware include:
- Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware software installation in the systems:
- Security scans in any website that is accessed by the system
- Air-gapping isolation of a system
Malware and Cyber Laws
The rampage of malware in both the digital and physical world has attracted the eyes of both governments and the legal society. Therefore, during recent times huge updates and improvements have been introduced in the legislation of almost every country in the world.
While some of the problems caused by malware fall under the jurisdiction of cyber laws, some others have the joint custody of both criminal and cyber legalities.
Some of the categories of cybercrimes that over-step within the limits of criminality are:
- Banking Frauds
- Anti-money laundering for terrorism activities
- Drug trafficking via the internet
- Crimes related to videotaping and digitally distributing sexual offenses
- Inciting violent mobs and riots by spewing hate-speeches over social media
- Online harassment or cyberbullying
An important point to note in many of such cases of cyber cum criminal offenses is that the perpetrator might be innocent and is a victim of unethical hacking into their systems. For these cases, the cyber and the criminal attorneys are of great help in verifying and nabbing the right culprit by the collar.
The defense attorneys for cyber and criminal laws must have a strong sense of justice and strive for the best solution to help unassuming innocent individuals and ensure that proper justice is served to the deserving ones.