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Quick glossary: Malware

Originally Published:
Aug 2016

Malware is an insidious infection that will steal productivity from your enterprise and potentially wreak havoc on your network. To prevent and counteract malware, it’s important to know the terminology surrounding it. This list of 22 terms will help you grasp the vocabulary that describes malware and the technology that spawns it.

From the glossary:

Adware
Any type of software that displays advertising. Malicious adware abuses its access to your computer or device and displays advertising that interferes with productivity. This form of adware relies on popup screens and if particularly nasty can bring a computer or device to a dead stop.

Backdoor
A type of Trojan malware that gains access to a system using methods that bypass normal security measures, like passwords or biometric input. The key to a backdoor attack is that it goes undetected so it can be used over and over again.

Bot
A computer or system that has been compromised and is undetected. The computer can be controlled directly by a bot master or herder for the purpose of spamming or launching a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. It may also have been programmed to perform certain actions when interfacing with human input or websites.

Bundler
A group of unwanted programs that are “included” with a desired application. This is a too-common occurrence when downloading free, or seemingly free, software from less than reputable websites. Along with your desired application, you get several other applications, most often in the form of adware.

Drive-by download
The unintended download of one or more files to a user’s computer or system performed without their consent or perhaps knowledge. Applications installed in this way may or may not be malicious in nature, but the installation of these applications without consent is considered a malicious act.

Grayware
Unwanted files or applications that are not malicious in nature but that can cause system performance issues, disrupt productivity, and create inconvenience for employees. Adware is one example.

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