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4 scariest forms of malware spreading right now

4 scariest forms of malware spreading right now
© Sebast1an | Dreamstime.com

How much time do you spend using your smartphones, tablet, or work and home computer to access the internet? On average, you're probably online for multiple hours each day.

Now, think about it. For each minute your device is connected, you are exposed to all kinds of internet threats. With so many people online for that many hours a week, the internet is a goldmine for hackers. They are constantly coming up with new malware techniques to rip us off.

But not all malware is created equal. From ransomware to spyware, malicious software can take many forms. Here are four of the scariest types of malware that can infect your gadgets.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malware that keeps users from accessing critical files stored on their infected gadget. To be more technical, there are two primary types of ransomware out there: blockers and cryptoblockers. What's the difference?

Blockers merely prevent access to certain programs or functions. For example, it may block access to a web browser, apps or operating system. Cryptoblockers, on the other hand, actually encrypt your data.

When it comes to desktop computers and laptops, cryptoblockers are most commonly used. However, when it comes to mobile devices, blockers are the preferred choice for hackers. A single click on a malicious link or attachment is all it takes to infect your device with ransomware.

Rootkits

A rootkit is a sneaky type of malware that aims to get administrator rights to a machine without alerting you or your security software. Having admin level access means hackers can pretty much do anything they want with a rootkit infected machine, even from afar.

Rootkits lurk silently in the background and are designed to be stealthy so they can evade anti-virus software. If a rootkit manages to entrench itself deeply in your operating system then removal can be extremely difficult. Most of the time, deep rootkit infections can only be defeated by wiping a system clean then a complete reinstall of the operating system will be required.

Persistent Malware

Malware that doesn't seem to go away is known as Persistent Malware. You can scrub this off with your anti-virus software only to see it come back after some time.

This kind of malware embeds itself deep into an operating system and hides remnants of it within your device. This allows it to reinfect your computer after a reboot.

For example, with various changes like DNS server poisoning and rootkits, persistent malware can evade your anti-virus software, hijack your browser, redirect your internet traffic, and download the malware over and over again.

To remove this kind of malicious software, you may need to perform a deep scan and in some cases, even reinstall your entire operating system.

Firmware Malware

This type of malware is probably the hardest to spot since it is installed directly into the software that runs specific hardware components. Note: This software is commonly known as firmware.

Common targets include your computer system BIOS, your hard drives, and disk drives. The scary thing is this: by infecting your hardware component's firmware, this type of malware can avoid detection by anti-virus and security software.

This malware can also totally ruin a component's firmware where the only fix is to replace the infected component itself.

For these types of malware, your best bet for protection is to have backups of your files. We recommend our sponsor, IDrive, for fast and reliable cloud backups. Backup your all your gadgets and save 50% on all your backup needs and get 2TB of storage for less than $35!

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No matter what the situation, you don't want critical data falling into the wrong hands. Fending off these attacks is something everyone should know how to do. That's why we're going to tell you about five must-do spy hacks you didn't know until now.

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