Malware vs Ransomware

Many people often confuse Malware and Ransomware, though they are similar, it is important to know the difference.


Malware is an abbreviation for “Malicious Software” and is a form of software that is installed onto ones’ device (be it computer or mobile) to disrupt their operation and/or access private and secure information. Malware comes in a number of forms;

  • Virus – Once run, it spreads from the host and infects other networked devices.
  • Adware – Advertising software that is installed on a device for the purpose of generating revenue for the author. It is usually designed to scan the internet sites the user visits and then promote their product over others.
  • Spyware – As the name describes, it is designed to track the user’s internet activity and gather information about their system without their knowledge. This type of malware is generally well hidden from the host and difficult to find.
  • Trojan – Designed to make a user think it is genuine program and run it. Once executed it may have been programmed to steal user data or potentially make the host system inoperable.


Ransomware is form of Malware that can be far more detrimental to your environment. Ransomware effectively holds your system hostage until a financial payment is made by the victim to the criminal. The most common type of ransomware is when files are encrypted and then can only be un-encrypted after the user pays a ransom for a digital key to un-encrypt the files. However, paying the ransom does not ensure the files will be un-encrypted.

Some types of common Ransomware are;

  • Cerber – Targets cloud-based Office 365 users and has impacted millions of users using an elaborate phishing campaign
  • CryptoLocker – Has been around since 2013 and is responsible for extorting millions of dollars each year from its victims, although many victims don’t disclose this information.
  • Crysis – Can encrypt files on fixed, removable, and network drives and it uses strong encryption algorithms

One of the best ways to prevent your company from any of these attacks is through continual education of your employees and by ensuring your corporate networks have updated enterprise strength security in place.

Aliva has developed a high level of expertise in helping business prevent attacks through designing and implementing a Cybersecurity strategy to suit each installation.

Aliva can also introduce businesses to an insurance company that has developed a unique set of insurance products aimed to protect the business financially in the event of an attack.

If you would like more information on how we could help you, please contact us on 07 3505 5000.

By Matt Winwood, Internal Account Manager