10 Types of Malware in 2022 and How to Spot Them

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Cybercriminals use a range of attacks to steal your data or financial information. Malware is the most frequently used cyberattack method. Learn about the common malware types and what each entails.

“There are two types of companies,” said former Cisco CEO John Chambers in a 2015 World Economic Forum speech. “Those who have been hacked, and those who don’t yet know they have been hacked.”

This quote exemplifies a stark reality: Cybercrime is easier than ever to perpetrate, thanks to the internet and the proliferation of computing devices, which are called endpoints by Information Technology (IT) professionals. Criminals can find kits containing pre-built malware for as little as a few dollars online.

Malware, a portmanteau word combining malicious and software, is a general term describing a slew of digital tactics employed by criminal hackers to intentionally cause harm. Organizations with inadequate IT security are particularly vulnerable, and these tend to be small businesses.

Cyberattacks have also grown in sophistication and complexity. The days of simply relying on your computer’s built-in antivirus software are over. Businesses need the best endpoint security software to remain protected.

To understand the damage malware can inflict, take a look at this bestiary of common malware attack types. You can see the security challenges your business is up against in order to prevent cyberattacks.

The 10 types of malware (and how to spot them, below):

  • Virus
  • Worms
  • Trojans
  • Polymorphic malware
  • Ransomware
  • Rootkits
  • Keyloggers
  • Bots
  • Spyware and adware
  • Mobile malware

1. Viruses

The term malware is often used interchangeably with computer viruses, but they’re not identical. Viruses are a subclass of malware. They’ve been around so long that the term became synonymous with malware in general.

A virus modifies computer files by inserting its code into another program. Security experts call the host file “infected” when this happens. The virus remains dormant until a user or computer process accesses the infected file. Then the virus…

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