Irish Information Security Forum

Malware & Cybersecurity

Malware is a broad term used to describe any file or program intended to harm or disrupt a computer. This includes:


Botnet software

Botnet software is designed to infect large numbers of Internet-connected devices. Some botnets comprise millions of compromised machines, each using a relatively small amount of processing power. This means it can be difficult to detect this type of malware, even when the botnet is running.


Ransomware attack

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts victims’ information and demands payment in return for the decryption key. Paying a ransom does not necessarily guarantee that you will be able to recover the encrypted data. 



RATs (remote-access Trojans) are malware that installs backdoors on targeted systems to give remote access and/or administrative control to malicious users.


Rootkits and bootkits

Rootkits comprise several malicious payloads, such as keyloggers, RATs and viruses, allowing attackers remote access to targeted machines. Bootkits are a type of rootkit that can infect start-up code – the software that loads before the operating system.



Spyware is a form of malware used to illicitly monitor a user’s computer activity and harvest personal information.



A Trojan is a type of malware that disguises itself as legitimate software but performs malicious activity when executed.


Viruses and worms

A computer virus is a piece of malicious code that is installed without the user’s knowledge. Viruses can replicate and spread to other computers by attaching themselves to other computer files.

Worms are like viruses in that they are self-replicating. However, they do not need to attach themselves to another program to do so.



A wiper is a class of malware whose intention is to wipe the hard drive of the computer it infects. A piece of malware referred to as "Wiper" was allegedly used in attacks against Iranian oil companies and is in use against targets in Ukraine.


If you are interested in finding out more about the IISF, or would like to attend one of our Chapter Meetings as an invited guest, please contact the
IISF Secretary:

By email:

By post:

David Cahill

Information Security

GPO, 1-117
D01 F5P2

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