Malware: The Main Weapon of Cyberattacks

Lisa Goth Cyber

A cyber attack, also known as a computer network attack (CNA), varies in sort and severity.  There is a hacker attack in the United States every 39 seconds, and 43% of cyber attack targets are small businesses.

A cyber attack is an assault launched by cybercriminals from one or more computers against another computer, multiple computers or networks.  It’s deliberate exploitation of computer systems, technology-dependent enterprises, and networks in the attempt to expose, alter, disable, destroy, steal or gain unauthorized access to or make unauthorized use of an asset.  A cyber attack can maliciously disable computers, steal data, or use a breached computer as a launch point for other attacks.  The goal is to get access to the target computer’s data and perhaps gain administrative privileges on it.

Cyber attacks use malicious code to alter computer code, logic or data, resulting in disruptive consequences that can compromise data and lead to cyber crimes, such as information and identity theft.

There are seven different technical methods deployed by cyber criminals:

  • Malware
  • Phishing
  • Denial of Service
  • Man in the middle
  • Cryptojacking
  • SQL injection
  • Zero-day exploits

Malware, short for malicious software, is the main weapon of cyber attacks. Malware is any piece of software that was written with the intent to damage a system, and aid hackers in gaining control over the target computer/device, perform forced actions, and access unauthorized data.

Viruses, worms, trojans, and adware are all examples of malware.  Malware breaches a network through a vulnerability, typically when a user clicks a dangerous link or email attachment that then installs risky software.  Currently, 92% of malware is delivered by email. They are capable of rendering the computer or network inoperable or granting access to the attacker.

Once inside the system, malware can do the following:

  • Block access to key components of the network (ransomware)
  • Install malware or additional harmful software
  • Covertly obtain information by transmitting data from the hard drive (spyware)
  • Disrupt certain components and render the system inoperable

The best way to prevent malware-caused infection to your system is to avoid spam emails.  Using an antivirus program that is regularly updated will assist in remaining immune to infectious malware.

There are no guarantees that you will not be the victim of cyber attack, since more than 4,000 ransomware attacks occur every day.  However, Charles Leach knows you need peace of mind every minute of every day, which is why we provide our clients with the best cyber insurance in the industry. For more information see our cyber insurance plans.