The most common malware types

The most common malware types

Malware was responsible for as much $100 billion in damages in 2016, and the figure is expected to grow for the foreseeable future. One of the issues with containment is the sheer variety of malware circulating. Here is a list of some of the common malware:


This is one of the scariest types of malware. Ransomware is responsible for at least $1 billion in payouts to cyber criminals, and this does not include the number of instances where it was not reported to the authorities.


A type of malicious software that allows an attacker to remotely access a computer without detection. This is not the type of malware that affects regular users. However, it is a danger to organizations, especially those with sensitive data.


Spyware is a type of malware that spies on the user(s) of that computer. It can record activity such as keystrokes to catch usernames and passwords. Common targets are usernames and passwords of banking accounts to initiate funds transfers.


This type of malware is more annoying that dangerous. It constantly shows pop-ups and other types of ads when visiting web pages. Some types of adware replace the ads on sites with their own. Users often install adware knowingly, especially when it comes “bundled” with free software.

There are much more forms of malware, but these are the most common and the most dangerous. It helps to think about how these work and then it becomes easier to identify potential malware.

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