15+ Computer Virus Terms

Computer viruses are a type of malicious software that can infect computers, smartphones and other devices. They usually do this by attaching themselves to another file or program, then copying themselves across the device in order to spread. These types of malware disrupt computer operations and cause data loss. Today we will go over 20 different terminologies associated with computer viruses.

  • Anti-virus Scanner: An anti-virus scanner is a program that scans your computer and detects anything suspicious. It can scan for viruses as well as spyware and other malware programs. If you regularly update the antivirus databases on your machine it will be more effective in fighting these types of threats.
  • Boot sector virus: Boot sector viruses are a type of virus that infects the initial boot sectors, or parts, on your computer’s hard drive and corrupt data within it by overwriting it with its own code. The next time you start up your machine this corrupted code will be executed before any other part of the operating system.
  • Browser hijacker: A browser hijacker is a type of malware that takes over your computer’s web browser and changes the way it functions so they can show you ads or inject other types of content into what you are viewing on the screen. This will usually happen without your knowledge when you visit a website.
  • Computer virus: A computer virus is designed to disrupt or damage your data and programs, cause the loss of data, attack other computers on a network without permission – such as in peer-to-peer file sharing networks – or just send spam emails using your email address.
  • Malware: Malware (sometimes called “malicious software”) is a general term for any type of software with malicious intentions. This could include viruses, spyware or other types of malware that you may not be aware are on your computer or phone.
  • Crypto ransomware: A crypto ransomware is a type of security threat which encrypts the victim’s data and demands payment in exchange for a decryption key. This type of malware is sometimes called “ransomware”.
  • Trojan: A trojan is a type of program that appears harmless, but contains malicious code or functions.
  • Trapdoor: A trap door in computing and software design refers to the deliberate insertion by an author or implementer of features not obvious at first glance which can be exploited for their unintended purposes; such as bypassing security restrictions on something like your bank account balance.
  • Phishing: Phishing scams are when someone attempts to trick you into giving them sensitive information – e.g., banking details, credit cards numbers, passwords etc. They may do this through email messages with links and attachments in order to get access to any keys/passwords you have saved online unintentionally (e.g., they might send a message from what looks like PayPal asking you to update your account information).
  • Data encryption virus: A data encryption virus, also known as an encoding virus or simply a cryptovirus, is designed to encrypt the victim’s data and hold it for ransom in exchange for decrypting their files. Sometimes this will be done by using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with RSA Algorithm or another public/private key-system combination. The main goal of this type of malicious software is not to disrupt your computer but rather steal valuable information from you without authorization.
  • Denial-of-service attack: Denial-of-service attacks are methods that can allow hackers to disrupt the availability of a website or network. This can happen in many different ways, such as by sending lots of connection requests that will eventually cause it to crash from being overworked.
  • RAT: It stands for “Remote Access Trojans”, which is a type of malware that allows the hacker to control your computer’s resources remotely and without permission. They can be used for many different types of malicious purposes, such as stealing information or sending out spam emails using your email address.
  • Keylogger: A keylogger is a kind of Trojan horse program that records the keys pressed on your keyboard, typically without you knowing. A hacker can use this information to figure out what passwords you are using or have used in the past and then either steal those passwords for their own purposes or sell them off to others who want access (or destruction) of someone else’s online accounts. Keyloggers also tend to be difficult to remove once they have been installed onto an unsuspecting victim’s computer system because there could potentially be multiple locations where it may reside – e.g., within documents, web browser settings, USB drives plugged into your machine via an infected file transferred from another device with malware present on it beforehand by accident.
  • Disinfection: The process of removing the virus from your system to make sure that it doesn’t keep spreading and infecting more files or systems.
  • Exploit: Exploiting is a way of using an already-existing vulnerability in software, hardware, or other technologies (such as social engineering) for malicious purposes. These vulnerabilities may often be outdated flaws which have not yet been fixed or patched.
  • Identity theft: Identity theft is when someone uses a personal piece of your information to impersonate you in some way, such as by opening up accounts that will be paid on your behalf with financial institutions and/or creating false credentials which could allow them to access anything from unsecured systems to the safety deposit boxes within banks without your knowledge.

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