Malware Types, Purposes, Infection Methods, and Much More!

malware types

You might have heard about the malware types before, as more systems become online. This provides great convenience for many users and consumers. Many organizations and businesses that want to reach a wider audience must take their systems online and try to get in touch with their potential customers.

Although this seems quite appealing for many people, this fact also brings new responsibilities for the providers. Considering that the number of cyberattacks is increasing every day, companies and organizations must be more cautious than ever.

This is why we are going to discuss the malware concept in this article. From malware types to infection methods and purposes, you are going to learn every detail you may be looking for!

What Is Malware?

Software developed with malicious intentions by hackers with bad intentions is called Malware. In fact, malware refers to Malicious Software.

In other words, malware is software designed to perform unauthorized operations on your computer, copy data, delete data, and perform operations without your knowledge and consent.

It is also the general concept that refers to many unwanted computer software such as Adware, Spyware, Trojan, Cryptolocker, and Keylogger.

Experts used to use the virus concept for such malware in the past. However, in time, malware became the parent concept, and viruses became a sub-category. In general, viruses are a kind of malware that exists for a long time and their main purpose is to harm computers.

A virus can make your computer unbootable, delete your data forever, affect the operation of your system. They usually do not have a secondary purpose and cybercriminals use them to corrupt the data on infected computers.

On the other hand, malware is a more general concept that refers to various malicious software such as Adware, Spyware, Trojan, Cryptolocker, and Keylogger. Cybercriminals use them to steal data, remotely access any system or computer or encrypt certain files. Hackers commit their cyber crimes with the help of these different types of malware.

Why Do Cyber Criminals Use Different Malware Types?

Cybercriminals use malware to corrupt, interrupt or disable a computer or mobile device, access critical and sensitive information and gain remote access to devices. It can lead to data loss or data hacking.

If cybercriminals perform their attacks just to harm a system, they usually prefer viruses. In such cyber attacks, viruses infect the target system and lead to failures.

On the other hand, cybercriminals prefer other malware types, which are usually designed for a specific purpose. In general, this purpose aligns with the goals of cybercriminals.

Moreover, cybercriminals launch an attack on you directly or on different devices without you being aware of it. As you may suspect and detect malware on your system, sometimes it may be quite challenging to notice it. Cybercriminals program malware to run in the background without giving any notice.

They usually prefer such malware to monitor your habits, record your keyboard usage with keylogger-like software or analyze your system to identify the vulnerabilities.

What Are Different Malware Types?

As we mentioned before, malware is malicious software, and it has many sub-types. All these types can be disguised as legitimate programs, they can also run directly in the background.

For example, a reminder software that you install to let it remind you to drink water at regular intervals can be mining on your Outlook profile in the background. Another example is an anti-malware software you install to clean your infected computer that can take over the control of your computer and make it unusable until you pay the fee it asks from you.

Although it is possible to get rid of some of these malware types, it may not be possible to get rid of them without formatting your computer or system. Here are some of the popular malware types:

One of the Most Common Malware Types: Adware

This is malware programmed to show ads. Such malware will expose you to unwanted ads. Moreover, it can also lead you to view more ads than usual.

As it can infect your computer alone, it usually infects your device with installation files of applications that are available on the internet for free.

For example, when you download and install a PDF viewer or Torrent client, the installation files may include Adware. As a result, the adware is going to show you ads whenever you run that viewer or client.


Due to the nature of this malware, spyware does not reveal itself on the infected device. They do not reveal any trace of existence but keep working in the background to keep track of your activities on your device.

Cybercriminals can exploit your online login information, the websites you visit, your email or phone number. This is a very dangerous type of malware that violates the privacy of the victim.


A virus is one of the oldest malware types. In fact, its existence is older than the malware concept. A virus can corrupt system files or disturb your system by infecting particular or all files on the system.

Unlike other malware types, viruses are not designed to exploit data or gain unauthorized access but make your computer or system dysfunctional. Although it bears a serious risk and threat, most modern antivirus software can easily identify and remove viruses.


In general, worms have similar properties to viruses. The main difference between worm and virus is that worms are designed to infect other computers on a network.

Worms try to infect every computer on a network and duplicate itself on the target devices. This malware is highly dangerous for organizations. If identified, you need to disconnect that particular device from the network as soon as possible.


Ransomware, which is also known as CryptoLocker, is software that encrypts files on your computer. With the help of this software, cybercriminals encrypt files on your computer and keep the key that can decrypt them.

After that, cybercriminals contact you and request random information. When you give them what they demand, they send the key to you so that you can decrypt the files or system. Unfortunately, it is not possible to decrypt most encrypted files with the key.

Cybercriminals usually use this malware to perform attacks on the accounting and finance departments of corporate companies. This is why it is vital to use antivirus or antimalware software, especially in large organizations.


A trojan is another malware that creates a backdoor on your device. By using this backdoor, cybercriminals can take the control of the device or system remotely.

It is a dangerous malware type that can access other devices on the network. As a result, cybercriminals can gain access to all computers on the entire network.


A bot is malware designed to operate online without the user’s consent. This malware is controlled remotely and used to run commands towards a destination on the internet. Cybercriminals take the advantage of bots for cyber attacks such as DDoS.

When bot malware infects a computer, that particular computer becomes a part of a bot network. Instead of continuous cyber attacks, cybercriminals use infected devices to make an intense attack at particular times.

In general, the user of the system does not notice the bot malware and the malware does not affect the operation of the device or system. On the other hand, we cannot talk about the same for the victim.

Such attacks may be legally binding for the users of the infected system. In other words, the victim of the bot malware can be a part of the cybercrime without realizing it.


Scareware is malware that warns the user that there is a problem with his or her device and immediate action must be taken. Such malware constantly gives warnings to the system user and forces them to take the action determined by it for the resolution of the warnings.

In general, these actions include buying paid software or installing free software that may include a different malware type.

Scareware is also a popular method in phishing attacks. For example, an email with a title such as if you do not take this action now, your account may be closed may direct users to take a certain action.


A rootkit is the most dangerous type of malware. Cybercriminals can access the device remotely with the authorization of the administrator user on the device. As a result, they can perform any operation or transaction they wish on the system.

The biggest challenge in the rootkit is the threat may persist even if you remove the malware after identifying it. This is why system format or reinstalling is recommended for computers or systems infected with a rootkit.

How Do Malware Types Infect Computers or Systems?

Cybercriminals can use many different methods to infect your computer or system with malware. In general, they infect your computer through email attachments or the software you install. They can infect your computer when you download a file over the internet.

Malware can infect your computer with or without your approval while you are installing any other software. This is especially true when you are installing cracked files you find on the internet.

This is why you need to be cautious against free software. Although most of the free software is quite innocent, some free software can act as malware to make money.

Thanks to the auto-run feature of USB disks, malware can infect your computer as soon as you plug them in. Many malware reveal themselves, give warnings, notifications, or show ads on your screen. These are great indicators of malware infection.

However, some malware can run in the background without any warning. This is why you can suspect infection if you experience the following issues on your computer or system.

  • The slowdown of the system
  • Increase in CPU usage
  • Network connection errors
  • Unknown or missing files or folders on the desktop
  • Slow loading of web pages
  • Your computer fan runs louder or more than usual
  • An email sent without your knowledge
  • Unexpected software failures
  • Computer crashes

How to Remove Malware Types?

You can remove any malware without leaving any effect or trace. However, some malware types can directly affect your operating system. This is why reinstalling your computer is one of the best things you can do.

Unfortunately, removing malware is not a simple task. Since all malware runs and works with different methods, you may need to take one or more actions to remove them. It is better to identify the malware type first and then proceed accordingly.

You can remove malware on your own, but this may not be the best alternative and you cannot get the best results. In this regard, you can seek professional help from cyber security experts.

As MS Cyber Security, we can help you to take the required actions to prevent malware infection. We can also help you to clean your system while ensuring your cyber security. Please feel free to contact us for more information and free quotes.

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