September 13, 2011 (Powerhomebiz.com) iYogi, an independent direct-to-consumer provider of remote tech support services, has released the latest ’iYogi Reviews’ about top five computer infections. Enabling advanced security settings on a computer is not always enough protection, as cyber criminals are always working overtime to stay ahead of the technology race and figuring out new ways of breaking into users’ computers. The ’iYogi Reviews’ series published from time to time is aimed at helping users understand various aspects related to personal computing. In this latest review, iYogi takes a closer look at the workings of top five computer infections: Viruses, Malware, Worms, Trojans and Spyware.
Instances of security breaches are r egularly recorded in organizations big or small. The Sony PlayStation network incident, where hackers successfully breached the security wall and wiped out millions of Sony users’ account information causing havoc is a good instance. However, corporations and large organizations are not the only ones at risk of being attacked by hackers and cyber criminals. Home PC users are as much or more at risk, as hackers capable of cracking advanced security systems deployed by corporations can easily break into most individual systems without much trouble.
While all of us can be susceptible to attacks by hackers and cyber-criminals, a better understanding of the different kinds of infections which can be inflicted on our PCs , is a step towards protecting vital data from being stolen or preventing our systems from crashing. Different computer infections are designed for specific purposes. Some may cause system breakdown, while others may steal sensitive information like username and passwords. Some infections might just steal banking details, while others target entire networks and cause system slowdown.
Computer infections are intelligent pieces of programming. Each one is designed to perform specific tasks. Infections usually work as a single cell system, targeting vulnerable parts of a computer. Some infections work as a team or a set of programming files, targeting different areas of a computer collectively. This is done in order to complete the specific tasks of corruption as assigned by their creators. These infections are capable of causing damage to the computer system. Earlier versions of most infections were designed to corrupt the user data or boot sector of the computer but with time, these infections have become deadly and intelligent. These infections target specific information and once they find it, send it to the hacker. Then they wait for a new set of instructions, never giving any clue about their presence to the PC user.
What is a virus?
A virus is an intelligent software program, designed to associate itself with an existing or running application. It can also create an application of its own. This infection can run along with other programs and applications, corrupting computer settings and damaging files.
Viruses likeILOVEYOU a.k.a Lovebug/Loveletter Virus, CIH a.k.a Chernobyl Virus, Melissa Virus, Code Red have all proved to be lethal for computers.
How does a virus work?
Viruses can easily be associated with a running application on the system. However, at a later stage viruses may multiply and infect other applications as well. Viruses can slowly kill a computer by sharing its system resources and performing unsolicited tasks or utilizing the system resources and making the computer slow.
What is malware?
Malware also called malicious software is a pack of applications that includes set of programming codes and executable files primarily viruses, Trojan horses, spyware, adware etc.
How does malware work?
Malware uses multiple infections to corrupt computers and it is one of the most effective and easiest modes of infecting PCs and used often by hackers and scammers. According to studies by security experts, most computer infections are results of malware. It is easier to infect a PC with multiple infections and bring it down in no time. Malware are dangerous as they act as carriers for performing Internet related crimes like e-commerce and phishing scams.
What is a worm?
A worm is software that infects computer files and then replicates itself at a later stage. It follows the same principle to spread in other machines and then to the network.
How do worms work?
Worms are nightmares for PC users as they are capable of bringing an entire PC down in no time. Worms work quickly and multiply at lightning speed. It can quickly replicate almost every folder and file in a system. Worms take advantage of security flaws of the system and look for the same flaw on other machines so that they can multiply and spread infections there too.
Worms also carry a set of instructions referred to as ”payload”. These payloads make desired changes in the target computers’ OS like opening ports, changing policies, deleting registry keys etc. These changes allow hackers to access the computers and steal sensitive data. Some worms operate with such stealth that an antivirus present on the system at times might fail to detect them.
What is a Trojan?
A Trojan horse is a deceptive computer infection, which appears to be a part of genuine software. Once it get installed on a computer it changes the computer settings and allows hackers and attackers to take control of the machine, steal data and perform unauthorized tasks at will.
How does a Trojan work?
Trojan horses come in under the guise of authentic application software. While they do not multiply like worms, they are equally lethal as they can modify and delete files, steal data, and keep a tab on a user’s Internet habits. Some advanced Trojans are capable of crashing systems, downloading and uploading files too. When the settings on a machine are changed and the security compromised, the worst scenario could be that the entire data on the hard drive and the web surfing details stored in cookies and temp files will be at risk.
What is spyware?
As the name suggests, spyware is a computer infection that specializes in collecting users’ information secretly.
How does spyware work?
Spyware targets cookies and other temp files, present on computers to steal personal information. Spyware is not there to slowdown a PC or corrupt data. On the contrary, it steals vital personal information and sends it to the hacker. Unlike worms, spyware do not multiply or replicate but they are more devastating to computer users as they target personal and financial information.
”Computer infections in form of viruses, malware, spyware etc are the scourge of the digital age which users across the world have to battle with on a regular basis. Even as antivirus and other security software manufacturers work overtime to stay ahead of the race against computer infections, newer and more insidious forms of infections are finding their way into people’s PCs every day,” says Vishal Dhar, President, Marketing and co-founder iYogi. ”We get calls from our subscribers daily complaining about symptoms on their PCs which stem from some form of virus or other infection which our tech experts help resolve while helping them also take the necessary steps to protect their machines from future attacks.”
iYogi is a global on-demand services company that provides personalized computer support for consumers and small businesses in United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. iYogi’s unique model, including proprietary iMantra technology and highly qualified technicians, is designed to eliminate computer-related stress and keep digitally dependent consumers and small businesses protected and productive. iYogi — with its proven global expertise delivery model, intelligent customer insight systems, easy-to-use self-help tools and automated PC optimization and computer support services – offers users a simple yet comprehensive path to digital serenity. iYogi has perfected the remote technical support model to overcome the current limitations of in-store, on-site, or call center services. Major resellers and technology companies are turning to iYogi to improve customer satisfaction, reduce return rates, and deliver a compelling new-value added offering to cust!
omers. For more information on iYogi and a detailed list of technologies supported, visit: http://www.iyogi.com .