Different Types of Malware – The Ultimate Guide

What are different types of malware? You may have heard the term “viruses” and “malware.” Many people think that malware is a virus. However, this is a misconception. A computer user who has access to the internet must use an antimalware software application to protect their system and safeguard online activities. In today’s article, we will discuss different types of malware. Read on!

Different Types of Malware

Malware, also known as malicious software, is a type of program or software that can perform malicious activities on your PC, laptop, or smartphone. For instance, the malware can perform simple tasks, such as showing a user some ads, to complex operations like harming your computer’s hardware.

It is a broad term that represents all types of suspicious and malicious programs. In addition, the categorization of the malware depends on various factors. One factor is the activity it does and how it infects the host PC. The common types of malicious software widely used by cybercriminals and hackers are:

  • Viruses
  • Worms
  • Spyware
  • Trojans
  • Ransomware
  • Adware
  • Rootkits

However, hackers can bundle one type of malware with others to perform a wide range of malicious activities. Remember, malware can infect your PC, steal sensitive information, damage software, hardware, etc. Here are the different types of malware. Continue reading!


A virus is a program a “.exe file” triggered by user action by running the executable file manually. Hackers can also embed a virus into Microsoft Office applications like Word or Excel in the form of macros. So, when you open a Word or Excel file, the program executes the .exe file. That way, the malware replicates itself to other files present on the PC.

Besides, the virus needs user action to spread inside the computer. Not only can a virus steal your personal data, but it can also store some files on your PC. In addition, it can show unwanted advertisements or even infect your browser to access information.

The criminal can embed a virus on the software you download from the internet, especially from an untrusted source. Once the downloaded software runs on your computer, it will start infecting different folders and files.

Likewise, if you copy the infected folders or files to another computer, the virus becomes easier and seamless to spread. When you open a virus-affected file, the virus will spread itself.

If you want to remove the virus, you need a quality antivirus program, such as Malwarebytes. It is an effective program with the latest virus signatures that can remove any type of virus.


There are different types of malware. Unlike a virus, the worm can spread itself more sophisticatedly. It spread when put in a network. The worm needs a host action for activation. Once activated, the worm will keep on self-replicating in the computers’ network.

Keep in mind that the worm is smart enough to exploit a vulnerable PC. It also spreads fast in a network. A worm injects a virus or spyware into your PC and performs various malicious activities. Because of the worm’s self-replicating nature, it is easier for Malwarebytes to understand the negative behavior. That way, the software removes it easily.

However, if you fail to tackle the issue earlier, it will infect the entire network within a few minutes. Moreover, the difference between a virus and a worm is that the former needs user action to spread. However, the latter needs user action at the beginning. Once done, it will start infecting your computer without needing another user action.

Viruses and worms are different types of malware that can self-replicate. However, other types of malware can deceive the user to perform actions. The malware exists in your computer as long as you use the application. A Trojan is one such example.


Trojan horse, also known as Trojan, is not a virus. It does not replicate itself or spread on your computer. Criminals and hackers embed Trojans in various software and applications. In addition, when you install and use the application, the Trojan will start doing its function.

For example, it can use your CPU, network bandwidth, or do anything else. A hacker can make efforts to have a backdoor entry to your PC. That’s where Malwarebytes, a reputable antivirus program, come in – KVS Computers recommend Malwarebytes because it is effective, reliable, and cost-efficient.

You may have seen warning messages while using the internet. For example, Malwarebytes acts proactively and warns you while browsing over the internet. Bear in mind that even the downloaded antivirus is a house of malware programs, including Trojans. Therefore, you must use trusted antivirus programs like Malwarebytes.


Many people confuse spyware with viruses and Trojans. Remember, these are different types of malware. Spyware is a program or software that spies on your PC activities and shares information with the criminal.

The most common activity performed by spyware is getting the passwords. However, it can also share bank account details and credit card information with the hacker. Have you heard of the term “key logger” software?

It is software that records whatever you type with your keyboard. So, a key logger is one of the most famous spyware that infects your PC and steals sensitive information. Keep in mind that spyware’s activities are not only about spying.

It can also bring different types of malware. For example, spyware tracks and steals your browsing details by serving customized ads. In some companies, the administrator puts the spyware to keep track of their workers. However, employees will treat it as malware without their consent.


Adware is a malware program that shows ads on your computer. The hacker shows you ads on your desktop notifications or browser popups. In addition, there are different types of malware, specifically adware, which changes your browser’s homepage. Consequently, it will fill the homepage with affiliate ads.

Most of the time, the adware does not harm your PC. However, it shows irritating or targeted ads. The adware can come with numerous malicious codes. It installs various software applications on your PC. Besides, it also installs extensions in your browser.

Remember, integrating adware and spyware can compromise your privacy, steal your private information, and damage your computer. The criminal spies on your PC to collect data on your browsing history. That way, the hacker or criminal customizes ads based on the collected data.

When the adware infects your computer, go to the control panel to remove the unwanted programs. The same principle applies to the internet browser. For example, you can go to the browser’s extension panel and delete undesirable plugins.


Although adware and malvertising show ads, they are different types of malware. The difference is due to the function each type of malware performs. Therefore, KVS Computer experts recommend users not confuse malvertising with adware.

Malvertising is a piece of code that shows phishing websites to the user. The hacker targets the ad network that serves advertisements on the publisher’s site. The criminal then replaces the ad code with an ad network using a phishing site.

The purpose is to drive more traffic to their website or wherever they want. You won’t figure it out as you click on the legitimate ad banner. So, the redirection happens in the backend. That way, you see some landing pages.

Hackers often use this technique to trick users. Criminals trick users into entering their personal details on phishing sites. Consequently, this can cause you to lose money. You may also get spam emails if the hacker gets your email ID.

Moreover, malvertising runs cryptocurrency scripts on your browser that consumes the CPU of your PC. It is often challenging to trace malvertising. However, you can use the AdBlocker or quality antimalware program, such as Malwarebytes, for web protection. That way, you can successfully block phishing websites.


Scareware is a type of malware. It targets end users by showing them vulnerability. The purpose is to scare the user, causing them to install specific software. So, when you download and install software, it becomes easier for hackers to achieve their goals. Some of the common examples of scareware are:

Popups appear and show that your PC has viruses and prompts to remove them. When you click on the remove or clean button, you download software. Likewise, it can redirect you to a malicious website.

When you browse the internet via VPN, a popup window appears with a message along with an IP address. It scares you that law enforcement agencies can catch you if you fail to install VPN software.


Besides different types of malware, the common one is ransomware. It encrypts crucial files in your PC and demands a ransom or money in return to decrypt the file. Ransomware can lock down your entire PC. Any documents you receive from an untrusted email ID are the source of ransomware. Some hackers use clickable links to spread ransomware.

When you download a file infected with ransomware, it looks for important files on your PC’s hard drive. The purpose is to perform its function of locking the files. That way, the hacker demands money from you to decrypt the file. WannaCry is the most popular ransomware that can affect many computers.

Likewise, WannaCry asks the user to pay ransom in Bitcoins within three days. Because Bitcoin is an untraceable digital currency, you will have no choice but to pay the hacker. Some studies show that maze ransomware is a different type of malware that attacks IT companies.  

Many hackers target companies, government organizations, and financial institutions. The purpose takes control of the sensitive data. Even after you pay the ransom amount, you are unsure whether the hacker will decrypt the file.

Therefore, it is crucial to install Malwarebytes. The antimalware program acts proactively to mitigate ransomware attacks. The best way to keep your data safe is to store them offline on external hard drives.


Rootkits are powerful malware that hides inside your computer’s root. A rootkit can penetrate the operating system’s deepest layer. Many antimalware applications can’t remove rootkits. However, if you install Malwarebytes, you can get the job done easily.

Because rootkits can access the operating system’s core, it can control the antimalware program. It usually adds itself to the antimalware’s exclusion list while searing for potential threats.

In many situations, your PC needs formatting to clean this type of malware. Because rootkits can access your computer’s operating system files, they may override the hardware. It can also cause hardware failure.

The best way to remove rootkits is to receive operating system updates. Make sure you patch software programs every time you have updates available. When you keep your software applications up to date, you can reduce the risk of rootkit attacks.


Botnets or bots are malicious programs if used wrongly. These programs can harm a single PC or a network of computers. So, a botnet refers to a network of PCs affected by bots. It can compromise your system’s security by causing server spamming, stealing data, and even lead to DDoS attacks.

That way, the entire server becomes vulnerable to cyberattacks. Sometimes, the servers are completely unavailable to the users. Some websites ask you to solve “CAPTCHA” to access their system.

Remember, this is the first security level to mitigate the effects of botnet attacks. There are different types of malware you must know. Otherwise, you can implement countermeasures to prevent your PC, browser, or online activities from attacks.

The malware attacks have gone to the next level because hackers use various transformation techniques. Two of the most common transformation techniques are polymorphic malware and metamorphic malware.

Different Types of Malware – Final Words

It is pretty challenging for computer and online users to remove malware completely. However, you can reduce the risk of getting your PC exposed to malware when you use a premium antivirus program, such as Malwarebytes.

KVS Computers is a professional company. Our experienced staff has helped thousands of people in safeguarding their PCs, laptops, and phone. A free antimalware program may already have malicious codes within it. Therefore, you have to be careful. Contact us today for advanced antimalware programs or solutions for different types of malware.


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