Malware vs Virus: The Differences and How to Prevent Them?

The latest worldwide malware attack, that of the already famous WannaCry, has not only revealed the security of hundreds of companies in half the world but also how much we get involved sometimes when it comes to handling the terminology of these threats. 

In general, we always call all this a computer virus and that’s it. But today we are going to go a little further and we are going to explain the meaning of terms such as Malware, Viruses, Worms, Spyware, Trojans, Ransomware, etc.

What is Malware?

The word malware comes from the union of the words ‘malicious software’. Malware is a type of software that aims to infiltrate or damage a computer or information system without the consent of its owner. Even Google Ads Disapproved Due To Malware.

You can also check out the WordPress Malware Removal Checklist 2024

Therefore, malware is the main term used to talk about all computer threats. Within this category, we already have different classifications that are much more specific for threats, such as Trojan horses, Worms, Computer Viruses, Adware, SpywareRansomware, SocGholish Malware, or among others.

According to – During the first half of 2022, the number of malware attacks worldwide reached 2.8 billion. In 2021, there were 5.4 billion malware attacks detected. In recent years, the highest number of malware attacks was detected in 2018, when there were 10.5 billion such attacks reported across the globe.

Most common types of Malware – Trojans, Worms, Viruses, Adware or Spyware and Others.


However, not all programs that can expose your data are malware. We have to distinguish it from faulty software, which is those programs that have not been designed with bad intentions, but that have certain errors within their code because of which your information can be exposed or your system becomes vulnerable to certain dangers.

What is a Computer Virus?

virus attackA computer virus is a type of malware whose objective is to alter the correct functioning of a device. It does so by infecting the files of a computer with malicious code, and its main characteristic is that it requires the intervention of the user to be executed. A moment in which it takes control with the aim of infecting a computer and spreading itself.

Although the first computer virus appeared in 1971 – Creeper, it was not until the 1980s that the term was officially adopted. There are different types of viruses, from those that are simple pranks made with the sole function of annoying to others that can seriously damage your computer by deleting files that directly affect its operation. In any of the cases, their common point is that they all modify the normal behavior of a computer.

Viruses are usually completely transparent. They do not hide but usually travel inside executable files such as Windows .exe. Of course, they can do it with the names of other applications in an attempt to trick you and try to run the program.

Computer worm

Computer worm

The computer worm is another of the most common types of malware on the network, and its main difference from computer viruses is that it does not require user intervention or modification of any existing file to infect a computer. For the rest, it has the characteristic of replicating itself to spread over the networks to which a device is connected.

When it manages to penetrate a computer, the worm tries to obtain the addresses of other computers through your contact lists to send them its copies and try to infect them as well. They don’t have to tamper with any programs or cause your computer to malfunction, which makes them a little harder to detect.

To do so, it is recommended that you review resources that could be consuming such as RAM, something that will make ordinary tasks become excessively slow. If you have one, you may also see that your team has sent messages without your permission by email or social networks.

Regarding their use, today these worms are often used, for example, to create botnets. These are zombie computer networks that can act simultaneously when an operator gives the order to send SPAM massively, spread malware or launch different types of computer attacks, DDoS attacks or denial of service.

What is a Trojan?

Trojan viruses

The Trojan has some similarities with computer viruses, but its operation is not exactly the same. While a virus is usually destructive, a Trojan tries to remain undetected while accessing your device with the intent of performing hidden actions to open a backdoor for other malicious programs to gain access to it. WordPress plugins have been found to be the source of many backdoors which are used to hack a website. Check out the way To Find & Fix A Backdoor In WordPress Site.

However, one of the commonalities between various types of malware is that Trojans will also come to you disguised as legitimate. They will do it with executables that apparently do nothing wrong when used, but that will immediately start working behind your back without you noticing.

Its name is that of the mythical Trojan Horse from Homer’s Odyssey, which according to the story was used to deceive the defenders of Troy. 

In the same way, this malware enters your computer disguised as a legitimate program, and once inside it makes a hole in your defenses so that other programs or types of malware have a way to enter.

Unlike the computer worms we’ve talked about, Trojans don’t spread themselves. You can get infected with one by deliberately receiving it, but they also tend to swarm on P2P networks or other websites with seemingly innocuous executable applications. 

They are usually used, among other things, to steal information without your consent through that back door.

What is Spyware?

WordPress Malware Removal

This is another type of program that installs on your computer on its own or through the interaction of a second application that launches it without you noticing. They usually work secretly trying to hide their tracks so that you raise your guard and act normally.

Its purpose is to collect information about the user or organization that owns a computer in an unauthorized way. 

In order not to be detected, these programs monitor and collect data about the actions performed on a computer, the contents of the hard drive, the applications installed or everything they do on the Internet. They can also install other applications.

What is Adware?

Adware Virus

Adware is a rather controversial type of program that is difficult to classify. Some consider it a kind of spyware, while others say that it can’t even be considered malware because its ultimate intention is not to harm mainframe computers.

Its only mission is to get into your computer and start showing you advertising, either while you are browsing the Internet, in the form of a popup at random times or while a program is running. There are even those that are limited to replacing the advertising of a website with another of their own with which their creators can obtain benefits.

Typically, this type of software is installed in programs that are then released for free as a source of income for their creators. The reason some people consider them spyware is that some of them can collect and send your personal data.

What is Ransomware?


Ransom means sum of money paid in return for the release, and in fact, what it does is kidnap data from a computer and ask for a financial ransom in exchange for releasing it. Normally, what it does is encrypt your data, and what they offer you in exchange for the financial ransom is the key to being able to decrypt it.

This type of program can access your computer on the back of a computer worm or other type of malware, and once it encrypts your data, it will block your computer by showing you a warning screen informing you that you have been the victim of the attack. This screen also shows you the amount to pay and the payment method, which can be by SMS, Paypal, or by Bitcoins.

This is one of the threats that is growing the most in recent years, so it is important to always keep your computer up to date and follow a series of precautions when dealing with suspicious emails or messages, always avoiding installing software and sending emails to those people who you don’t know.

Another piece of advice that almost all computer security experts agree on is that you have to try never to pay the ransom that is asked of you. Doing so allows criminals to get away with it, and encourages them to continue using this type of program.

The easiest method to combat it is to always have up-to-date backup copies of your databases and format the affected computers, recovering them later with these copies.

Socgholish/Fakeupdates Malware

SocGholish, also known as FakeUpdates, is a sophisticated malware family that has been active since at least April 2018. It is associated with the suspected Russian cybercrime group Evil Corp. SocGholish employs a drive-by-download technique, disguising itself as software updates to gain initial access to target systems.

Throughout 2022, SocGholish affected various industry sectors, with a notable spike in activity observed in February of that year. Despite the fluctuation, its impact remained relatively stable, affecting approximately 0.5 percent of Red Canary-monitored environments each month.

SocGholish malware is a particularly elusive malware variant due to its extensive use of stages, eligibility checks, and obfuscation techniques. Its ability to remain hidden and evade detection makes it one of the most mysterious malware families to date. The lack of detailed information regarding target selection, evasion logic, and specific infection procedures utilized by the cybercrime group further adds to the enigma surrounding SocGholish.

Most Common WordPress Attacks

  • Tracking Cookies

A cookie is a plain text file that is stored on your computer in a cookies folder and it stores data about your browsing session. Cookies are used by many websites to track visitor information. A tracking cookie is a cookie that keeps track of all your browsing information and this is used by hackers and companies to know all your personal details like bank account details, your credit card information etc. which is dangerous.

  • Spam

Spamming is a method of flooding the Internet with copies of the same message. Most spams are commercial advertisements that are sent as unwanted emails to users. Spams are also known as Electronic junk mail or junk newsgroup postings. These spam emails are very annoying as it keeps coming every day and keeps your inbox full. There are many free Best Email Spam Filter Tools which eliminate all those unwanted emails.

  • Misleading Applications

Misleading applications misguide you about the security status of your computer and show you that your computer is infected by some malware and you have to download the tool to remove the threat.

As you download the tool it shows some threats in your computer and to remove them you have to buy the product for which it asks some personal information like credit card information etc. which is dangerous.

What is Favicon WordPress ico hack?

Favicon WordPress ico hack can be used to perform dangerous actions in WordPress sites. Favicon. ico is a malicious virus that installs itself and changes your website’s favicon (the little image next to the site title) as well as inserts code into header, footer, or index files of all installed WordPress themes on your website.

This malware infection is designed not only to hijack your browser but also to spread via infected websites, so you should be very careful while using any website that you do not trust. If you notice that your favicon has changed or if there are strange icons appearing in the browser window, then it is likely that you have encountered this dangerous malware infection.

So how do you protect your pc from virus?

The best way to protect your PC from viruses and other online malware is to become aware of the dangers and the techniques to defend yourself against them.

Of course, this is not innate or obvious to everyone. This requires knowledge of attacks and ways to protect against them, in short, you need to follow the below tips.

Tips to protect your computer from Viruses and Malware

  1. Keep your operating system and software up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates.
  2. Install and regularly update antivirus software to protect against known viruses and malware.
  3. Avoid opening email attachments from unknown or untrusted sources.
  4. Don’t download files from websites or links that you don’t trust.
  5. Be careful about the information you share online, especially personal or sensitive information.
  6. Use a secure, password-protected network when accessing the internet.

Is your website secure enough?

The security of your site is one of the most important parts of running a business. Your website is where your customers will find you, so you need to make sure that they can trust it. Website Security is a big concern for small business owner and they should aware of hacking terminology. There are many different ways to check if your site is secure or not.

  1. One of the easiest way is by using an SSL Certificate for Website.
  2. Evaluate the security level of your site and identify its weak points.
  3. Protect your website effectively, and strengthen security measures.
  4. You should aware of Malware Removal Checklist for Hacked WordPress website.
  5. Use WordPress security scanner tools to scan for vulnerabilities.
  6. Choose a secure WordPress theme for your site.
  7. Use WordPress Security Plugins.

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