Malwares, what are them and how to be protected?

Rod Valença
3 min readMar 21, 2021

Dear readers,

Welcome to another post about technology. Today I’m writing for a class project I’m doing at FIAP university.

The topic is regarding Malware, its origins and how to protect against them.

What is a Malware?

Malware ( aka malicious software) are developed programs or files that are designed to inflict harm to the computer and possibly to its user.

There are various types of malware that are present in the internet like viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware and spyware, as you can see in the image below:

Image from: https://www.pandasecurity.com/

What is the origin of Malwares?

Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1971, Bob Thomas was a computer programmer, working on a program called TENEX. The machine he was working on was connected to ARPAnet, the very first packet-switched network, which was the precursor of the Internet.

Thomas wanted to see if a self-replicating program could be written, and in fact he created one called “Creeper”.

Creeper spread through ARPAnet affecting machines that would print, “I’m the Creeper. Catch me if you can!”.

With this result, many computer scientists consider Creeper to be the very first computer virus.

How is Malwares nowadays?

We see on the news many reports regarding hacking, virus, ransomware, etc.

According to AV-Test, we have over 350.000 new malicious programs discovered every day! This is a big risk for companies and users around the world, as we never know witch of them will impact our lives.

Image from: https://www.av-test.org/en/statistics/malware/

What can you do to protect yourself?

Using internet requires far more protection than just having virus protection.

  1. Keep your softwares and OS always updated! It’s not rare to find these days “zero day vulnerabilities”, but most companies realize that and release asap new updates.
  2. Use strong password: strong password should have letters, number, special characters, and if possible more than 10 characters length.
  3. Use a MFA solution: whenever is possible, use a multi factor authentication solution for your accounts. If someone steals your password, it will be harder for them to use your accounts. Microsoft and Google have Apps for this, where you can register your accounts.
  4. Install an anti-malware software: if you are using windows, MAC or linux, I’m sure that you have options for anti-malware softwares such as AGV, Avast and Sophos. Use them, and run it on a regular basis to keep your system clean.

References:

1: https://www.pandasecurity.com/en/mediacenter/malware/the-most-dangerous-types-of-malware/

2: https://www.av-test.org/en/statistics/malware/

3: https://sectigo.com/resource-library/what-is-malware

4: https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-antivirus-protection

5: https://www.avg.com/en/signal/history-of-viruses

5: https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/threats/a-brief-history-of-computer-viruses-and-what-the-future-holds

6: https://www.techtudo.com.br/noticias/2017/08/o-que-e-uma-falha-zero-day.ghtml

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