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10 Identifying, Monitoring, and Reporting Malware

Malware describes a category of software that for one reason or another does not

fit the description of a program that always operates in a way that benefits the user [5].

Of course, those of us who have ever used software might contend that this definition of

malware will cause programs that we use every day to be categorized as malware. For

example, the word processor used to write this paragraph has crashed more than once

during the writing of this paper, and, in that regard, it's not acting in a way that benefits

the user. To tighten the definition of malware, let's qualify it a bit: the malicious or

annoying behaviors of malware are intentional, not the result of one or more bugs. There

are currently five types of malware that affect computer systems [5] [21]:

iruses: a virus is malware that requires some deliberate action to help it spread.

For example, a user downloading and installing an infected program that in turn

infects emails sent by the user.

Worms: a worm is similar to a virus but can spread by itself over computer

networks. Worms have superseded viruses as the popular choice of hackers.

Trojan horses: a Trojan horse is software that has hidden and unadvertised

functionality that occurs during normal use.

Backdoor: a backdoor is a vulnerability purposely embedded in software that

allows an attacker to connect to the users machine with malicious intent.

Rabbit: a rabbit is a program that exhausts system resources. Types of resources

that can be exhausted include memory, disk space, CPU time.


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