What is Malware?

--Originally published at Computer and Information Security

I have heard more frequently the word malware, but the question is “what is malware?”. I didn’t even know what that word mean until I made some research. According to the definition, malware is the abbreviation of “malicious software”, and it is considered as a malicious program that harms the functionality of a computer. Also, malware is composed by many other tools that harm the computer, such as viruses, Trojan horses, and worms. People often create these malware to steal information from the user, to modify it, or even to delete important data from the computer. These activities are made by the malicious programs without any permission.

it is possible to divide the kinds of malware depending on their characteristics and the way of how each one acts.

  • Virus: this one is the most common one. It has the name virus because it acts as in health, it spreads in the computer and spreads very quickly with malicious software. Virus infects other programs.
  • Worms: it is a type of malware that multiplies without any command or a specific action. Worms can be activated without any human interaction and it affects the performance of the computer.
  • Trojan horses: its name comes as in history. It appears to be a legit program until it is executed. While it is executed, malware is installed in the computer and can use malware’s functions.
  •  Spyware: this last one is the one that steals information from the user without any knowledge from him or her. It also watches the movements from the user to learn from him or her.

The following video explains the types of malware. I’ll recommend you to watch it.


It is known that the first tope of malware was a virus, it was called the Creeper virus and it happened in Continue reading "What is Malware?"

Your computer has been kidnapped.

--Originally published at Merino is talking about security.

The government of {{Insert current location country name}} has found {{Insert illegal material}} on your computer, please pay the fine of {{Insert ridiculous amount of money}} to regain access to your computer. 

Kidnapped!? Really!? Yes. Thanks to this thing called Ransomware Internet pirates and other evil doers can lock all information on your computer, encrypting it so you can't use it. Now you have to pay them an amount of money to regain access to it, or say goodbye to your precious data. 

As explained above, a Ransomware attack targets your computer and encrypts various files and folders in your computer, rendering them useless. You can get attacked by it if you'r computers gets infected with a virus or you run a malicious script, the attacker hides the code as an e-mail attachment, a link on an infected webpage, videos on iffy pages, system updates, etc. Not very different than other kinds of attacks. But what makes Ransomware different from other kinds of attack is that, while others may just want to ruin your computer or steal your info, Ransomware will actually ask you to pay the rescue, and paying doesn't warranty that your information won't be copied or/and stolen, it doesn't even warranty that it will be released. 

Many times they will mask the attack as a sort of government issued computer search-warrant, claiming that illegal material has been found in your computer, and that you have to pay a fine to regain access to your machine. 

So, how can I protect myself?
  •  Anti-virus, Anti-malware all the way. These are the main ways that ransomware gets distributed, so try using these layers of protection.
  • Don't click random links, check the address to see if its a site you thrust, hover (without clicking) the mouse on the link Continue reading "Your computer has been kidnapped."