Malware Explained – From Basic Viruses to Advanced Threats

Malware is the short form of malicious software. Malware takes various forms but most often exists as simple computer code. This rudimentary existence makes it more capable of harming or exploiting any programmable device or network. 

Editorial Staffs

From the earliest days of computing till today, Malware remains a significant threat to computing systems. Worse is that malware has even expanded in scope and evolved with time. No longer are we concerned only about the humble virus: Malware now comes in almost every form.

What is Malware?

Malware is the short form of malicious software. Malware takes various forms but most often exists as simple computer code. This rudimentary existence makes it more capable of harming or exploiting any programmable device or network. 

Each type of malware typically has unique characteristics and operational modes. For example, ransomware encrypts data to force users to pay for a decryption key. The primary objective of all malware is to disrupt, damage, or steal.

Examples of malware include:

  • Viruses: A type of malware that modifies other programs to insert its code.
  • Worms: Self-replicating malware that spreads independently across networks.
  • Trojans: Malware disguised as legitimate software or hidden within legitimate software.
  • Spyware: Designed to gather data from a system without the user’s knowledge.

Notable Malware Statistics and Incidents in Malaysia

Within the Asia Pacific region, Malaysia ranks second for its cybersecurity capabilities. However, this has not stopped us from being targeted by Malware. According to MyCERT, more than half a million unique IP addresses have been targeted by botnet-related malware in 2023 alone.

Other malware incidents in Malaysia include:

  • Data breaches in Malaysia over 2023 were at an all-time high. Over 130 cases were reported in the first half of the year alone.
  • 18 publicly listed companies on Bursa Malaysia were found to have active malware infections in 2022. These ranged from remote sync observation to exposed RDP sessions.
  • In 2020, an email spam campaign circulated using the name of Petronas. It carried a trojan payload called LokiBot which tried to steal sensitive information from devices.

How to Protect Yourself From Malware

Malware doesn’t just do random damage. It can result in serious consequences such as monetary loss, reputational damage, and even identity theft. The least you can do is to get a reputable antivirus software installed on all your business machines – that should be your first defense against malware.

Chong Yat Chin

CallNet Solution Managing Director

Protecting yourself from malware and other threats often requires the right tools and common sense. Remember that anything digital is risky, whether downloading files or clicking on email attachments.

Here are some things you can do to safeguard against malware:

  • Use Antivirus Software: Installing reputable antivirus software should be your first defense against malware. 
  • Update Applications Regularly: Update all software, including operating systems and applications. Updates often include patches for security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malware.
  • Use Strong Passwords and MFA: Strong, unique passwords should be used for each online account you use. Ideally, combine this with Multifactor Authentication (MFA) for better security.
  • Educate Yourself and Employees: Awareness is crucial. Educate yourself and establish cybersecurity best practices for your employees. 
  • Backup Data Regularly: Regular backups of essential data can minimize damage in case of a malware attack. This protects not just your business but also its customers.
  • Secure Your Network: Ensure that your WiFi network is properly secured. Avoid using public WiFi for sensitive transactions, or use a VPN if necessary.
  • Be Cautious with Email Attachments and Links: Do not open email attachments or click on links from unknown or suspicious sources. Cybercriminals often spoof email addresses.
  • Use Web and Email Filters: Use web filters to block malicious websites and set up email filters to help screen out potentially harmful emails.

Malware Protections for Enterprises & small businesses

Malaysia may be well-ranked in cybersecurity, but the world remains at risk of malware. Gone are the days when cybercriminals target large companies alone. Everyone is at risk today, from individuals to small retail outlets and public listed companies.

Remember that all it takes is a moment of carelessness to let in some form of malware. When that happens, you risk financial loss and many other possible consequences. Get professional cybersecurity assistance and remain focused on building your business instead.

Schedule for a free consultation call today

Article By Editorial Staffs

The Editorial Staff at Callnet Solution brings together a seasoned team of IT professionals, collectively boasting over two decades of expertise in enterprise IT management, cloud solutions, and cybersecurity. Since its inception in 2016, Callnet Solution has emerged as a premier IT service provider in Malaysia, renowned for its innovative solutions and commitment to excellence in the tech industry.
Editorial Staffs

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