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Malware

Malware

Malware is an abbreviated term meaning "Malicious Software." This is software that is specifically designed to gain access or damage a computer without the knowledge of the owner.

There are various types of malware including spyware, keyloggers, true viruses, worms, or any type of malicious code that infiltrates a computer. Generally, software is considered malware based on the intent of the creator rather than its actual features. Malware creation is on the rise due to the sheer volume of new types created daily and the lure of money that can be made through organized internet crime.

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Today, much of malware is created for profit through forced advertising (adware), stealing sensitive information (spyware / phishing), spreading email spam or to extort money (ransomware).

The best protection from malware continues to be the usual advice: be careful about what email attachments you open, be cautious when surfing suspicious websites, and install and maintain an updated quality antivirus program.

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I'm Infected... What can I do?

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware's industry-leading scanner detects and removes worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, spyware, and other dangerous malware from your home PC. It has a great FREE version, so download and run a scan of Malwarebytes now from www.malwarebytes.org and you might just be surprised what you find out is hidden in your directories.

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Threats In Malta

The Maltese Cyber Crime Unit often issue warnings concerning computer malware to the general public. The most common malware threats in Malta are browser hijackers and advertising spamware which can be dealt with by using anti malware programs like Malwarebytes. These anti malware programs can scan through the most common directories that malware is kept, detect malicious programs and clean these threats.

 

Police Ransomware - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The police today warned about a variant of a computer malware, known as "police ransomware", which involves the misuse of the Malta Police Force logo. Computer systems infected with the virus display a warning message claiming that the user’s computer had been suspended on the grounds of unauthorised cyber activity and that a fine has to be paid for the computer to be unblocked. The user will notice that the computer has seized up or that his documents are no longer accessible. In almost all cases, paying the ransom does not restore the computer to its original state.

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Other Common Threats

CoolWebSearch

CoolWebSearch may hijack web searches, home pages, and other browser settings.

Gator

Gator is an adware program that may display banner advertisements based on user web surfing habits. Gator is usually bundled with numerous free software programs, including popular file-sharing programs.

180 Search Assistant

180 Search Assistant is an adware program that delivers targeted pop-up advertisements to a user's computer. Whenever a keyword is entered into a search engine or a targeted website is visited, 180 Search Assistant opens a separate browser window displaying an advertiser's Web page that is related to the keyword or site.

BlazeFind

BlazeFind may redirect Web searches through its own search engine and change default home pages and browser settings.