What do viruses, Trojans, and other malware actually do?

Have you ever wondered what these malwares do to your computer and how does it harm us? Let’s take a deeper dive today. First let’s get to know what are these before knowing what they do.

What are viruses, Trojans, and other malware actually do?

I think the answer to what malware, viruses, trojans, etc all are as far as just a software. If that answers your question, then good.

However, I am going to give you a slightly different answer. Malware and viruses don’t usually do anything to your computer physically. In fact, many types of malware and viruses only do their job if you don’t know they are running.

So how do they harm us?

Malware and viruses are just programs. Programs don’t hurt your computer.

They hurt you, the user of your computer, by stealing your password, or your bank account information, or making calls to numbers that cost you money. The main purpose of most malware is to make their creators money at your expense.

However, they don’t generally harm your computer itself. They simply change things about the way the computer works so that it isn’t doing what you want, but instead doing what the hacker wants. Well, a successful hack still does what you want (so that you don’t notice that your computer has been hacked) but also does what the hacker wants.

For example, it lets you login to your bank and make transactions, but in the process sends the banker your account information so that they can make transactions to drain your bank account. A particularly successful hack would then the next time shows you a fake report on how much is in your account, so that you don’t find out that your bank account has been drained until your bank sends you an overdraft notice.

How do they do that?

Now, if you are wondering how malware and viruses do that. That is a much more complicated question. You need to understand how computers are programmed. The simplest explanation that I know of is that programs are simply fancy to-do lists. Returning to the example above, your banking program asks for some information from you, sends it to the bank, and then shows you the page the bank sends back. That’s a 3 item to-do list (with each item further broken down into even simpler to-do list items). One way to hack it, it to send the information not only to your bank, but also to the hacker’s computer. Another way, is to not put up the page the bank sends back, but a page that the malware has faked. Or maybe not a fake of the whole page, but only some of the numbers on the page faked.

But how, does the malware do that? Well, it has to find your banking program and modify it to add the changes into the banking programs to-do list. If it does that, the malware is usually considered a virus. It might not modify the bank program, it might modify the program that talks to the keyboard, or it might modify the program that talks to the network to send information out. There are many options. Again, these changes to the program don’t hurt the physical computer, but they do change the behavior of these programs that your computer uses to do something that they aren’t supposed to do.

However, once you understand that computers do everything by following these to-do lists—that’s all that programs are. And that by changing these to-do lists, you change what the computer does. You see that hacking (changing the programs on your computer) is extremely powerful. You don’t physically harm the computer, but do you change what it does. We can make it do anything we want.

So that’s it for today!. Lets meet in an another interesting topic soon. Also dont forget to share and comment down your thoughts below!

Kevin Joe Harris

Tech enthusiast who loves to share his knowledge and express his thoughts!

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