Malware is the most common type of attack we would expect to see on our PC or devices. Malware is malicious software that has been designed to steal data, disable or bypass computer functions, compromise and cause harm to a computer system. There are many different types of malicious software.



Trojans are designed to look like a normal file or program with malicious code in their design. The intention is to trick the user into downloading or installing malware.



In module 1 we looked briefly at extortion, this typically comes in the form of ransomware from somebody clicking on a link or more commonly from opening a file as part of a phishing email. Essentially Ransomware is where your computer system and data are being held captive for a sum of money. The pretext being that once you have paid the ransom you will get your computer system and data back.

The video clip shows the anatomy of that attack and the lengths that some criminal gangs go to in order to ensure that the attack hits the mark.



There are some malicious individuals and companies that can use your computers to either watch what you are doing, they can gather and harvest your information such as bank account details, login credentials, financial information and much more.



A virus is a form of malware that loads onto a system without the knowledge of the user. It is designed to continually copy itself, by doing this it spreads the virus throughout the network into other computers. Like other forms of malware, they are used to capture information, steal money amongst other things.



A worm is malware that has the ability to self-replicate in order to spread independently, this is done typically through the spread of mass emails with infected attachments.


Many of these types of malware are often found in either pop-up’s (a small box that has an advert in which appears on your screen. Don’t click on it, hit the “x” in the top right of the box). Or free content which can be downloaded. This is can be used to hide malicious software.