Viruses, worms and Trojans: know your enemy

by | Jul 10, 2023 | Blog

Viruses, worms and Trojans, although often mentioned together, have subtle but important differences. Understanding these distinctions is crucial to strengthening your IT security.

A brief history of computer viruses
Originally, computer viruses were less a tool for fraud and more a field of experimentation for programming students and university researchers. Those days are gone, and today, viruses are often the work of “black-hat hackers” – digital criminals, as opposed to the “white-hat hackers” who fight to defend our systems.

Threat typology

  • Virus: A malicious program that attaches itself to legitimate software. It requires human intervention to spread, such as opening an infected attachment.
  • Worm: Spreads automatically between computers, exploiting information transfer systems. A single infected workstation can quickly spread the worm to a multitude of other systems.
  • Trojan: Inspired by the famous Trojan horse, this type of malware creates a backdoor in your system, allowing attackers to access your personal data or install malware.

A case in history: the “I Love You” worm
In 2004, the “I Love You” worm tapped into our desire for affection. It spread via an e-mail entitled “ILOVEYOU”, sending itself to all Outlook contacts once opened. It has infected over 10 million Windows systems, causing millions of dollars in damage.

The best defense against these threats is a combination of vigilance and regular updates of your system and security software.

At Mofco, we understand the importance of IT security.

Our managed and cloud-based IT services are designed to ensure a secure, collaborative working environment. Protect yourself and your business from these digital threats.

For more information, contact us at 514-312-3100.

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