List and description of 10 most dangerous and widespread Web-based computer threats to which you must pay attention
Malware never sleeps on the internet and can hit any Windows computer suddenly, without giving advance notice and with ever new methods.
Viruses and malware can affect Windows PCs and recently even Mac computers, with the explicit intention of making life difficult for Web surfers in order to cheat and steal money from them.
The problem with viruses is that most people who have never had to do it would never think, wrongly, that they could be hit.
The bad news is that even an expert computer user who uses a PC protected with antivirus and other security programs, can fall victim to an online threat caused by malware or a scam site.
In this article we see how to recognize the most common cyber threats, so as not to be caught unprepared and immediately get a method to counter them and eliminate them.
The virus without a shadow of doubt more dangerous is the ransomware, which can present itself in different forms but with a similar operation.
It is a really ingenious malware that combines a scam attempt with a real virus that renders the affected PC unusable, even blocking personal files.
A full screen message (not removable) appears on the computer with a warning about alleged illegal activities coming from that computer and a fine to be paid to get back the PC.
The virus has different variants with messages from the postal police, the finance guard, the SIAE, the carabinieri or the national anti-crime center, and is able to block the files “taken hostage” by encryption, unlockable only after paying the ransom.
The encrypted files remain the same even in case of virus removal, so the risk of losing personal data is very high.
The ransomware type virus (which takes the computer hostage if you do not pay), can be removed by following the guide of things to do when a PC is infected by a virus.
Obviously we must never pay and stick to the instructions provided, better to clean the PC and if necessary to format it, recovering the lost files through a backup (which must always be activated).
An example of this virus that had deceived many users a few years ago is that of the Postal Police, with a warning on alleged illegal activities coming from that computer and a fine of 100 dollars to be paid to get back in possession of the PC.
How are these viruses taken?
The first vehicle of infection are sites with lots of windows, especially those that appear suddenly under the window or in another tab or block any action to the user until you click somewhere (the sites of streaming are full of these threats); a second method of infection are emails with suspicious attachments.
If you think that emails are always safe, you’re wrong!
Beyond spam emails (which we can safely ignore or throw in the trash), some viruses disguise themselves from legitimate e-mails, pass spam filters and arrive in users’ e-mails, masking the threat in attachments to be read (PDF or Word usually).
Just one click on the attached file to start the infection: the PC starts to slow down, may appear advertising windows or sites are not recommended and, most worryingly, the worm automatically spreads between all contacts of the email and PCs on the LAN.
One of the most dangerous threats in this regard was WannaCry, which exploited a weakness of Windows to spread quickly via LAN.
Also in this case we can remove the worm by reading the guide things to do when a PC is infected by a virus.
How are these viruses taken?
The main vehicle remains the infected emails, but if a PC on our LAN is infected by a Worm, it will spread to all healthy PCs at high speeds, so we could find ourselves infected without having done anything on our PC (just turn it on and connect it to the network!).
Even if they fell a little disused, the Trojans are still one of the most dangerous threats for any PC running Windows.
These viruses are able to hide themselves cleverly within legitimate programs (they can simulate both the appearance and the icon, often work properly to avoid suspicion) and, at the right time, take control of the PC by downloading new viruses, modifying the system files, removing and installing new useless programs and spying every file and action done by the user.
There are many variants of Trojans: from those that completely disable the antivirus and any scanning tool to those who take control of the Webcam and spy on us.
Fortunately, many antivirus can intercept them before they can do damage, in any case, the removal is quite simple reading the guide of things to do when a PC is infected by a virus.
How are these viruses taken?
The main means of dissemination remain the crack, both those to get a free license for Windows and those to get free programs and video games for free (very coveted).
You install the crack as if nothing had happened, you take advantage of the program or the system without paying and it goes on, without any suspicion; at the right time we find ourselves with the compromised PC, with the trojan that did damage without even triggering the antivirus.
Better to completely avoid the crack and buy what we need.
4) Cryptocurrency generators
One of the most recent threats to our PCs with Windows are cryptocurrency generators, legitimate programs (many antiviruses do not block them or do not click when they detect one) that are placed in memory and start to exploit our hardware resources (CPU but especially GPU, especially if our video card is recent and very powerful) to generate cryptocurrency (virtual currency with increasingly high value, but hand that generates money), which will end up straight into the pockets of the developer or who created the program.
This threat is hidden in some free programs, so as to generate a constant profit to the developer without even exploiting the app.
One thing is if we are using our PC to generate cryptocurrency, one thing and if some developer decides to take the resources of our PC to generate money for itself (the PC will inevitably slow down, especially with games and programs heavier seen the resources occupied).
From our tests one of the few free antiviruses capable of locating and blocking cryptocurrency generators is Comodo, which we can download here -> Comodo Antivirus.
How are these viruses taken?
Even if they are not real viruses, these annoying components can be present on any free program, but we also find them on sites modified specifically to generate cryptocurrency at every visit of the user.
The only way to avoid them is to have a good antivirus that blocks these cryptocurrency generators even when we surf the Internet or when a free program decides to “finance” exploiting them on unsuspecting PCs.
5) False Android Apps Android
Mobile apps can be downloaded from Google Play or even from other sites.
As already written in the article on the security risks of smartphones, some applications may be full-blown viruses.
In some cases, as was the case with Angry Birds: Star Wars, the malware app has the same name as a popular app.
6) The porn threat
This type of scam can really scare the less experienced because it relies on the intimacy of people.
We then receive an email with written that we were recorded in a video while we saw sites for adults and that will be disseminated to all our friends and contacts if we do not pay a certain amount.
Obviously this is a false threat, there is no video and the message is a standard randomly sent to anyone trying to catch what feels guilty and is afraid for a possible public humiliation.
To defend against this type of threat, all you have to do is put a sticker on the webcam lens, removing it only when you really need it.
7) The romantic threat
On sites like Facebook or other social networks where we use our real name, it could happen to be contacted by beautiful girls who show themselves, immediately or after a little ‘conversation, available for a date of love.
Unfortunately, after saying something compromising or after sending some intimate photos, you will be asked to send money to a certain address otherwise all the chat and photos will be sent to wife and family.
This is certainly a dangerous blackmail, from which we can defend ourselves only with the distrust of those who are too beautiful and too available.
As you can see, computer threats via the web come in different forms and often unsuspected, able to overcome even the most powerful antivirus and antimalware.