What are the main computer virus types? What are the names of all virus types? What is the definition of each virus? How to remove viruses and protect yourself?
What Is a Computer Virus?
Before we begin with our article, let’s establish something – a computer virus is a specific type of malicious software, but most users generally refer to infections or viruses. In fact, a virus is a type of program that upon execution replicates itself by modifying other programs and inserting its own code. Once the replication happens, the affected areas become “infected” with the computer virus.
Viruses are becoming increasingly diverse in types. From simple dangers that are harmless and made to mock people for their poor cyber-security or heighten the ego of some teenage hacker, they have become the sole reason why they are so many data leaks and breaches occurring to governments. Not only this, but cyberthreats have gotten so serious, that one specific computer virus can have the potential to disrupt major facilities of the government and even atomic energy facilities. And now with the variety of devices increasing out there, it is important to know how the different types of infections work and to learn how to manually identify the type of threat you are at risk from. Since it becomes hard for the regular user to keep track of such diversity, we have decided to separate the infections into several main categories and explain to you what exactly are these computer viruses, what do they do and what are the dangers of having such dangers running on your device based on each type.
Mac Virus Threats
Viruses on Mac have started to become increasingly more and more dangerous to users. Infections authors have proven once again that they can create quite the Mac Viruses and use those to their advantage. So far there have been different types of threats for Mac out there:
Mac Ransomware – locks your Mac or encrypts your files, making them unopenable, holding your Mac hostage until you pay ransom in BitCoin.
Mac Trojans – there have been numerous cases of Mac Trojans out there, most of which related to banking threats aiming to steal banking details.
Mac Adware and Redirects – these types of “viruses” for Mac are the most common. They aim to get victims to see a lot of different advertisements.
Rogue apps for Mac – these types of fake fixers, optimizers and antivirus programs often aim to get you to visit a third-party site to buy their licenses, that are in the hundreds of dollars. They pretend to find errors on your Mac that do not exist to motivate you into getting their full version to remove them.
Usually, the most widespread infectons on Mac are the browser extensions, adware and browser redirect PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). They often come bundled alongside other programs and they may introduce a variety of ads on your Mac, such as pop-ups, redirects, push notifications, changes the search engine that displays ads instead of search results and many other contents. The end goal of those pesky programs is to lead you to third-party websites and those sites could eventually turn out to be scam sites and even cyberthreat sites that can slither a more serious threat in your Mac.
If you believe that your Mac may be compromised by a Mac virus, use the following professional software to detect and delete any viruses from your Mac:
According to latest statistics, ransomware threats have become notoriously popular up to the point that they are now the most money-generating type of cyber-threat out there. This is because a ransomware as a computer virus is basically an extortion scheme for your files.
Is ransomware in fact a form of malicious software? It can be. If the ransomware prevents its victims from accessing their files, it is in fact a malicious software. The very first case of a ransomware attack was in its essence a computer virus attack. Current ransomware threats are more similar to computer worms because they can spread across systems and networks without the need for user interaction. An example of such a case is the infamous WannaCry outbreak. A more recent example is the attack against Kaseya.
Generally speaking, the ransomware operator’s sole purpose is to make sure that your files could not be opened by using the same encryption that is used to cover up and hide different types of sensitive files. Such encryption scrambles your files and makes them no longer accessible. In return, the cyber-criminals behind it want you to pay them a lot of money that can vary from hundreds to thousands of dollars, usually in Bitcoin, Monero, or ZCash cryptocurrencies. They offer to get your files back and some of them even offer 1 free file for decryption so that you can see that they are not joking. We should also mention that ransomware extortion continues to evolve, with double and tripple extortion techniques.
Ransomware as a computer virus infection can be recognized by a custom file extension appended to each encrypted file, like “.encrypted” or so on. But some ransomware viruses may lock your device completely or even rename your files randomly, so that you cannot be able to recognize them at all. An example of a regularly updated ransomware threat that continues to release new iterations with different file extension is the so-called STOP/DJVU family.
If you believe that your computer may be compromised by a ransomware virus, use the following professional software to detect and delete a computer virus from your device:
Browser Redirect Virus Threats
Browser Redirection threats as they are called are basically the pesky PUA (Potentially Unwanted Applications) we explained earlier. A browser redirect as a computer virus is not technically infections but because of their nagging and persistent behavior, affected users refer to them as cyberthreats.
These forms of redirects could be seen in multiple different places on your computer – as a program installed on it, attached to a legitimate program or even by being attached to a browser extension or be the browser add-on itself. They can cause a lot of browser redirects on your computer that can lead to seriously risky sites. These sites could turn out to be:
- Scam sites.
- Infected sites.
- Phishing pages.
Browser redirects may come onto victims’ computers by being bundled to the installers of other programs or if the victim downloads them. These types of bundling operations can include the browser redirection threat to seem like a “free extra” or an “optional offer” that is added as a bonus to the program you are currently trying to install. Once the programs of this type are added, they can immediately begin to slow your computer down with redirects and pesky pop-ups. Not only this, but these apps often use different tracking technologies to obtain key data. This is done with the primary goal to slither ads that target you with the same things you search for or with your location in order to increase the likelihood of you clicking on the suspicious ad.
Scam – Related Dangers
These types of scam dangers could be a dubious software, that aims to detect a lot of different errors that do not exist, like rogue apps, and try to get you to pay a lot of money for a full license. Scam as a computer virus can appear as a web page that is brought to your computer as a result of browser redirection. These web pages lock your browser and pretend that there is some sort of an error in it, aiming to get you to call a fake tech support number, whose primary purpose seems to be to scam you. Once called, the scammers aim to convince you to let them in your computer and fix the issues, and for that they want you to pay hundreds of dollars and there may not be any issues after all. Not only this, but there are other forms of scam pages as well, which many call phishing. They may be displayed on your computer as a result of being infected by a dangerous Trojan that is detecting each time you visit a bank site or a large social media or e-mail service, like Facebook or Gmail. Then, the threat causes a redirect to phishing (fake) web page, that looks very close or identical to the original page. The main idea behind this is for you to type in your credit card information or login details and for the cyberthreat to steal them. This is why you should always be very careful where you type your data and check if the link in the address bar is the original site or no.
Trojans are by far one of the oldest and most widely used type of spyware tools out there. They enter your computer silently by exploiting vulnerabilities in your system, but in contrast to other dangers these types of dangers aim to remain as silent as possible, causing no symptomps. What Trojans do is absolutely anything you can imagine a threat to do. The main activities of a Trojan involve:
- Logging the keys you type on your keyboard.
- Tracking your camera and microphone.
- Obtain files.
- Download other infections.
- Update itself.
- Take remote control over your mouse.
- Stop key Windows processes.
- Create copies of itself to trick you that you have successfully removed it.
In addition to this, the main idea of this computer malware is to act as a remote control to your computer. This means that every action you do is monitored and your best bet is to simply change all your passwords after removing the Trojan.
You should also be warned of the dangers of various trojanized apps that can be downloaded freely from the Internet. Such a recent example is the trojanized version of the AnyDesk app.