By DeVry University
September 2, 2022
5 min read
September 2, 2022
5 min read
Cybercriminals utilize a wide array of tactics to accomplish their goals, and malicious code is often one of them. But exactly what is malicious code and how harmful is it?
Malicious code is a broad category of dangerous programs, files and code strings that are used to create malicious software, also known as malware, and carry out a cyberattack. There are several different types of malicious code, each with various effects, uses and methods of attack.
Malicious code can include everything from full software programs like keyloggers or spyware, to a small computer virus that prevents your device from functioning correctly. And just as there are many types of malicious code, there are different levels of damage it can cause.
When asking “what is malicious code?”, it’s also important to understand its different forms and how to defend against attacks that could threaten your devices and data.
In this article, we’ll explore these concepts in the following sections:
Keyloggers: Keyloggers track your keystrokes when you’re typing your passwords or other sensitive data into third party websites to steal information or gain access.
Spyware: Spyware infects your computer by searching your files for sensitive data and covertly transferring it.
Adware: Adware displays unwanted ads on your screen.
Ransomware: Ransomware seizes your personal files and encrypts them before demanding payment to restore them.
Worm viruses: Worm viruses replicate themselves within your device, and then spread to others on the same network.
Cross-site Scripting: In cross-site scripting attacks, malicious code is injected into the content of websites that a computer user would normally trust, allowing the attackers to spread malware, phish for credentials or even re-write the contents of a website.
Double-check the URL before clicking on anything from a website.
Keep your operating system (OS) and antivirus software up to date.
Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.
If you still end up downloading something with malicious code, there’s no need to panic. Disconnect the infected device from the internet, then search through all your files for anything that looks unfamiliar and delete them immediately. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, you may want to run an antivirus scan to identify and remove any malicious codes or software for you.
If you’re still in doubt, reach out to a computer specialist to make sure the malicious code is removed from your device.
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In New York, DeVry University operates as DeVry College of New York. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), www.hlcommission.org. The University’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. DeVry is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Arlington Campus: 1400 Crystal Dr., Ste. 120, Arlington, VA 22202. DeVry University is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, www.tn.gov/thec. Naperville Campus: 1200 E. Diehl Rd., Naperville, IL 60563. Unresolved complaints may be reported to the Illinois Board of Higher Education through the online compliant system http://complaints.ibhe.org/. View DeVry University’s complaint process https://www.devry.edu/compliance/student-complaint-procedure.html Program availability varies by location. In site-based programs, students will be required to take a substantial amount of coursework online to complete their program.
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