At a time when a lot of new viruses are being developed every day, but especially malware and spyware, it is of increasing importance that anti-virus software tries to detect unknown viruses. Accordingly, almost all current anti-virus software works with reactive methods as well as proactive ones. For this purpose, the software can search for general characteristics of malicious programs and thus recognize patterns of viruses, even if an exact signature is still unknown. However, there are also a number of other variants of how anti-virus software can also detect unknown viruses and render them harmless. This includes, among other things, the SandBox technology (here a computer is simulated and the possibly harmful program is opened in a situation where no damage can occur) or the behavioral analysis (here a real-time monitoring is carried out in real-time monitoring, which detects the suspected virus when a stimulus threshold is exceeded blocked).
What is malware / spyware and how do I protect myself?
Malware (a compound word consisting of malicious and software) can be translated into German as malware or malware. The term encompasses all computer programs which perform undesirable and, above all, harmful functions. The word malware basically includes various sub-terms such as computer viruses or Trojans. Nevertheless, the term computer virus is still widespread today and is often used as a generic term. If you want to make a distinction between the two terms, it must be said that the aim of the virus is to spread it as widely as possible, the purpose of malware is mostly remote control.
The different types of malware include:
- Computer viruses: These spread by creating copies of themselves on other data carriers.
- Computer worms: In terms of how it works, it is similar to computer viruses, only that it is usually distributed via networks and e-mails.
- Backdoor: In German called back door, this malware is used to generate hidden unauthorized access to the computer or network.
- Trojan horse, Trojan virus: Here the myth of the Trojan horse is used as the basis for naming. Hidden in a program, malicious software is played on the computer. A Trojan usually represents the combination of a backdoor and other malware such as viruses or spyware.
- Scareware: This should plunge the user into such uncertainty that paid programs should be purchased
- Dialer: Especially before the times of flat rates and unlimited internet access, but also nowadays on mobile devices, this malware is widespread. Here the telephone line is used to access chargeable offers such as value-added numbers.
- Spyware: These programs collect information about the user
Spyware is therefore to be understood as a sub-category of malware. The term is a combination of the English words spy (spy) and software. This is a program that hides itself on the computer system and spies on the user. Data on the behavior of the user is usually collected with the help of spyware. This includes, among other things, terms that are searched for, products that are purchased online, etc. Occasionally, spyware should also steal the data from online banking. For this purpose, the software uses so-called keyloggers, which save all keyboard entries and can thus decipher passwords. However, this has been slowed down considerably in times of SMS-Tan. Spyware usually occurs in combination with adware. This means the undesired but controlled insertion of advertisements and pop-ups. These are individually adapted to the user through the collected data of the spyware, whereby the companies - mostly of a rather dubious nature (erotic, counterfeit drugs, gambling, ...) hope for an increase in the effectiveness of advertising. However, there are also numerous spyware programs known that collect data unnoticed and forward it to third parties for further processing and evaluation. This means that no personal advertising is generated, but data and statistics on individual regions and the behavior there are obtained.
In order to protect yourself against malware and spyware, it is recommended to keep all programs, but especially the operating system, always up to date. Internet behavior should also be responsible. If possible, unsafe pages should be avoided, unknown attachments of e-mails should not be opened and when installing programs it should always be ensured that no unwanted additions (own search bars and the like are very popular). However, the best protection is only provided by combining all of these points with the use of special anti-virus software. This is always state of the art and is informed about all new known threats, and can thus protect the user from the most hidden programs. Real-time protection ensures that every action that is carried out by the user is checked immediately. If the action would ensure that a malicious program is installed, the protection intervenes immediately and prevents this before damage can occur.