An Antivirus software blocking malware

What are the different types of Malware?

In Cybersecurity, the terms “malware,” “viruses,” “trojans,” “worms,” “ransomware,” “spyware,” and “botnets” often surface, raising questions about their meanings and implications. While all of these are malware (malicious software), each one acts in a different way.  This article aims to shed light on these concepts and provide clarity on their distinctions.

At eCreek IT Solutions, a trusted provider of Denver IT Support and Denver IT Services, we believe in empowering you with knowledge to safeguard your digital environment.

Computer Viruses act like Diseases

Computer viruses are malicious programs designed to replicate and propagate between systems. They attach themselves to files or software and activate when those files are opened. Viruses can wreak havoc by corrupting files, deleting data, or disrupting system functionality.

eCreek IT Solutions offers comprehensive IT Support for Denver area companies to shield your systems from virus threats.

Trojans are Allowed Entry

Unlike viruses, Trojans do not self-replicate. They masquerade as legitimate or desirable programs to deceive users into executing them. Once inside a system, Trojans carry out a variety of harmful activities, including stealing sensitive data, creating backdoors for unauthorized access, or introducing additional malware onto the infected system.

Our Denver IT Services encompass vigilant protection against Trojans and their deceptive tactics.

Computer Worms Crawl through Your Systems

Worms are standalone programs that replicate themselves without human interaction and spread independently, often through network connections.  Worms exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems or software to gain access to systems.  Once inside, worms can consume system resources, slow down networks, or compromise the security of the infected machines.  They can also carry payloads that deliver additional malicious activities. 

Our IT Support in Denver addresses worm vulnerabilities, safeguarding your systems from potential breaches.

Ransomware Kidnaps Your Data

Ransomware will encrypt your files, scrambling the data and rendering it inaccessible until a ransom is paid to the attacker.  Another form of Ransomware is when the attacker copies all your information and threatens to release your data to the public. 

Ransomware can be devastating for individuals and organizations, causing significant financial loss, data breaches, and operational disruption.  Even paying the ransom provides no assurance of data recovery. 

Spyware Places “bugs” to Spy on You

Spyware is designed to stealthily gather information about a user’s activities, such as browsing habits, keystrokes, and login credentials.  This stolen date can be used for various malicious purposes, including identity theft, unauthorized surveillance, or targeted advertising. 

Our Denver IT Support extends to safeguarding against spyware infiltration, preserving your digital privacy.

Botnets are like the Zombie Apocalypse

Botnets are networks of infected computers or devices that are controlled remotely by a central command and control server.  These compromised systems often referred to as “zombies” or “bots”, can be used to launch coordinated attacks, distribute spam emails, conduct distributed denial of service attacks, or participate in other illicit activities without the knowledge of their owners.

Our IT Services in Denver encompass strategies to detect and neutralize botnet threats, ensuring your systems remain secure.

Remembering the Differences of Different Malware

The names of each malware type are very descriptive, so remembering the imagery associated with each term can help you remember the differences:

  • Viruses spread and infect like a disease. 
  • Trojans sneak in like a Trojan Horse and then release their payload.  
  • Worms crawl around under the surface and consume resources.  
  • Ransomware takes your data hostage and demands you to pay to get it back.  
  • Spyware is when the cyber criminals plant “bugs” to spy on you.
  • Botnets plant “bots” or “zombies” that can be controlled remotely to make malicious attacks.


The landscape of malware is intricate, with each type possessing distinct characteristics and potential consequences. At eCreek IT Solutions, we provide Denver IT Support and Denver IT Services to fortify your digital environment against these threats.

Empowering yourself with knowledge, and taking proactive measures to secure your network is crucial for your organization. For inquiries or assistance in safeguarding your network, reach out to us at Your protection is our priority.