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What is Virus, Trojan Horse.. Does Firewall and Antivirus really keep us safe?

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Malware, once a generic term for any malicious software, encompasses a range of hostile program codes, including viruses, spyware, worms, Trojans, etc.

These programs aim to perform harmful operations on a computer. Different malware may employ various delivery methods and actions once inside a system.

Delivery/Infection Methods:

Malware typically fits into categories such as adware, spyware, ransomware, scareware, or forming botnets. Adware uses advertising delivery systems, spyware monitors and reveals information, ransomware demands payment for unlocking a system, scareware masquerades as legitimate tools to frighten users, and botnets enable various malicious activities.

Malware Actions:

Some malware may seem inactive but operate within a botnet. Terms like "rootkit" or "bootkit" describe malware hiding deep within a system. Combining terms illustrates how malware like Tidserv/Alureon uses drive-by downloads, creates bootkits, and employs worm-like applications with rootkit techniques.

For maximum protection, use security software against malware.


While malware is the current umbrella term, "virus" refers specifically to a self-replicating program attaching to Windows processes. Viruses can corrupt system files, leading to the Blue Screen of Death ([BSOD]).


Worms are self-replicating programs that run in the background and multiply over a network, potentially slowing down a system.


Trojans appear benign but harm systems, opening gates for viruses and worms. They are named after the deceptive "Trojan Horse."

Drive-by Download:

A popular method for malware entry, often through a compromised website, exploiting browser weaknesses.


Cookies store user preferences on websites, enhancing user experience. However, third-party cookies from pop-up or click ads pose security risks, stealing sensitive information. A solution is a licensed antivirus and disabling cookies in browser settings.


A firewall, either hardware-based or software-based, screens network traffic, blocking potentially harmful data. It acts as a sieve, preventing unwanted downloads and files from entering a system both online and offline.


Antivirus software detects and removes harmful programs, including rootkits and Trojans. It requires frequent updates to recognize new virus strains.

In summary, understanding malware, viruses, worms, Trojans, cookies, firewalls, and antivirus is crucial for comprehensive computer security.


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