Malware – Malicious Software

The most common way for malicious software, or malware, to enter your networks is through email messages. These malformed messages can allow viruses to avoid detection, crash your systems and lock up your mail servers.

ePrism with Kaspersky Labs Anti-Virus, stops debilitating malware at the perimeter, before it has a chance to infect your networked machines.

Network Worms

Worms use various systems to enter your network – IM and P2P for instance, but a common way is through email. Their primary aims are to penetrate your remote computers, launch copies of themselves and start spreading throughout your network.

There are number of methods worms employ to make sure their malicious code is executed and can spread. In the case of emails, it is often social engineering aspects that make them vulnerable. For instance, emails that encourage recipients to open attachments are often all that’s needed.

The current trend toward blended threats includes worms with Trojan features not easily stopped once they reach a workstation. That’s why protecting your email with ePrism ensures that worms never makes it past your perimeter.

Classic Viruses

Viruses are a group of malicious programs that replicate themselves throughout a machine using the resources of the machine, or some action of the user to continue spreading. Viruses don’t have to use network resources to spread to other machines, unlike worms, but spread only if an infected object is accessed and the malicious code gets executed. A common way for this to happen is if a virus infects a users machine via email and then sends a copy of itself to everyone in the users address book. Subsequent recipients machines can become infected and the virus then sends itself to more addresses.

Other insidious viruses are mass mailed to a large number of recipients with the purpose of destroying data or otherwise damaging victim machines without spreading further.

In any case, stopping virus-infected emails at the perimeter ensures that neither scenario comes to pass.

Trojan Programs

Trojan programs comprise a category of malicious code that perform actions covertly – without the victim’s consent or knowledge. Trojans are often used to collect personal data on the victim which is then used for criminal financial gain. Other Trojans are designed to destroy data or alter it for malicious purposes. Some criminals use Trojans to hijack computers and use them to send spam.

Another type of Trojan are those designed to take over remote machines without damaging the original infected computer. In this way, criminals can launch DoS attacks against designated websites without implicating themselves.

Hacker Utilities and other malicious programs

This is a diverse group of malware that falls into the following categories:

  • Constructors and other utilities that are used to create Trojans worms and viruses
  • Program libraries specifically designed to be used in creating malware
  • Utilities created by hackers to encrypt infected files thus hiding them from antivirus software
  • Jokes that interfere with normal computer function
  • Programs that deliberately misinform users about their actions in the system
  • Other programs that are designed to directly or indirectly damage local or networked machines