In this blog I am seeking readers participation to build an all-inclusive list of telltale signs of malware infection.
The e-InnoSec team recently completed a 6-part series as a guide for organizations to leverage GDPR preparation for CCPA. The Malware/Ransomware 4-part series is focused on helping organizations protect themselves from Malware/Ransomware.
- Part I – How do I get malware?
- Part II – Different types of malware
- Part III – How can I tell if I have a malware infection?
- Part IV – How to protect against malware?
Malware, or “malicious software,” is an umbrella term that describes any malicious program or code or any piece of software that was written with the intent of damaging devices, stealing data, and generally causing a mess.
In Part-I (https://www.linkedin.com/posts/charupel_malwareransomware-how-do-i-get-infected-activity-6571844490900885504-brvh/) we answered, “How do I get malware?”
In Part II, https://www.linkedin.com/posts/charupel_malware-ransomware-different-types-activity-6574286835256741888-8aNE/ we discussed “Different types of Malware.”
In this Part III, we will discuss, “How Can I Tell If I Have A Malware Infection?”
Have you faced a situation, when you start your computer and it takes more time than usual to start and when it finally starts you do not see your usual screen? The various programs are taking a long time to load, and your curser does not follow the same speed as the mouse. The internet browser is taking a long time to start and once it starts, you see pop-up messages. The browser tends to open many other instances and unknown URLs.
Some of these problems, especially slow speed could be associated with RAM running out of space, lack of space on the hard drive or damage. After analyzing the potential technical causes that could impact the system, the next possibility is analyzing malware infection.
Few telltale signs that you have malware on your system:
- Your computer slows down.
- One of the malware’s main effects is to reduce the speed of your operating system, whether you’re navigating the Internet or just using your local applications.
- A tidal wave of annoying ads that shouldn’t be there washes over your screen. Unexpected pop-up ads are a typical sign of a malware infection. They’re especially associated with a form of malware known as adware.
- Pop-ups usually come packaged with other hidden malware threats. So if you see something akin to “CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’VE WON A FREE PSYCHIC READING!” in a pop-up, don’t click on it. Whatever free prize the ad promises, it will cost you plenty.
- Your system repeatedly crashes, freezes, or displays a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), which can occur on Windows systems after encountering a fatal error.
- You notice a mysterious loss of disk space, probably due to a bloated malware squatter that hides in your hard drive.
- There’s a weird increase in your system’s Internet activity.
- Usage of system resources is abnormally high, and the computer’s fan starts whirling away at full speed – signs of malware activity taking up system resources in the background.
- Your browser’s homepage changes without your permission.
- Similarly, links you click send you to an unwanted web destination. This usually means you clicked on that “congratulations” pop-up, which downloaded some unwanted software. Likewise, your browser might slow to a crawl.