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What is Malicious Code And How It Works? Real World Examples

Malicious code is any code in a software system or script that is meant to cause unwanted effects, security holes, or damage to a system. Malicious code is a threat to application security that can't be stopped with just regular antivirus software.

Everyday we are using the Internet for a lot of purposes and utilities like sending emails, watching short videos, movies and live sports online, downloading and sending large files. Unfortunately, the Internet is the most potential place to attract online vulnerabilities, it is more likley to face the threat of malicous content infilteration in your system.

Malware like this gives criminals the ability to steal the data stored on your computer and can wreak havoc on your mobile devices. Additionally, it exposes sensitive company data, which can bring your company to a grinding halt.

But what exactly is a malicious code, and how exactly does it damage the computer system of the victim? The solutions are provided in the following article.

Malicious code refers to any software that is intended to take advantage of a vulnerability or to develop new ones. Hackers have created it with the purpose of causing damage, making undesirable changes, or gaining access to your computer system. These kinds of assaults can result in the theft of data, security flaws, and back doors, in addition to putting your device at risk in a variety of other ways. Examples such as viruses, worms, and the Trojan Horse are among the most well-known.


What Is Malicious Code?

Cyber attackers use harmful codes to get into a computer or network and try to control it to steal the data and distrub the functionality of a person or a large organization. Most of the time, it is made by making small changes to computer programs, infrastructure, or files that already exist.

Malicious code attackers or people who spread malicious code through business applications do so for a few main reasons, such as:

  • Take private information and sell it for money, like credit card numbers.
  • As a technical challenge, make trouble that sends alerts but doesn’t do much damage to servers.
  • Get even with a business, such as when a current or former employee is unhappy.
  • Use a terrorist attack, like holding a government agency or business’s digital assets for ransom

In the past few years, the threat has become more widespread. Malicious code is used to break into most PCs because it can easily find weak spots. They make commands, scripts, or other phrases to take advantage of security holes and use different entry points. By using reusable parts, attackers can make the malicious programme work again and automate it.

These automatic updates make data theft happen a lot faster. Hackers would take too long to get into Android devices, PCs, and other platforms if they had to do everything by hand.

But it doesn’t work that way. Instead, automation is used to spread and copy malicious code. Some spyware can steal sensitive information even if the user doesn’t do anything or download anything.

Malicious software can affect almost any part, which makes things even worse. The most common targets are small parts (desktop and mobile apps) and large configurations (network infrastructure). The same thing can happen to servers and websites that are online.

Not only that. Any device that runs on a computer, like IoT devices, can be attacked by bad code. These include platforms for smart homes, modems, servers, routers, and infotainment systems for cars.

Once cybercriminals find the perfect target, they use programmes and scripts to get into the system. From there, they can expose the attacked system to code, get private information, watch how it is used, and get deeper access.

Malicious code comes in many forms, but they all have one thing in common: they go through clear steps. Some of them work on their own, while others need special actions or human help to start certain things. This is how most malware is put together.

  • Probing and investigating to find weaknesses
  • Writing code to break into the system
  • Leaving the system open to code
  • Using another programme or built-in features to run the code

If the code is controlled and run well, it can start other malicious actions or copy itself. No matter what happens, the original bad code moves from one device to another.

Well-executed attacks can use practically any channel to install spyware and trigger malicious traffic. There are many networks on the list.

  • Online platforms (intranets, public websites)
  • Wireless connections (Bluetooth)
  • Social communications (pushed content, messaging apps, SMS, email)

Installing harmful plug-ins, clicking on spammy email links, opening suspicious attachments, and visiting to infected websites are all common ways for malicious code to get in. The threat can get into your system through both hidden and obvious points of attack.

Malware can be sent to your computer by anything, from well-known software to charging stations.

Even though the code package might not be obvious, you should be extra careful when using messaging services and public internet connections. Attackers often put their software on them by sending them broken URL links or downloads.

Different Types of Malicious Code

Malicious Code is a general term for system breaches. We’ve explained how attacks work, but that doesn’t mean that all software infects your computer or phone in the same way. There are different kinds of this code that work in different ways.


Viruses are forms of malicious code that self-replicate and attach themselves to numerous programs. Malware can get into the device because the items travel through other files. Once it is run, it spreads to all networks that are connected.


When ransomware gets into a computer, it encrypts a file and holds it hostage until the owner pays a ransom. Most of the time, Trojan Horses set up a weak entry point for the code before these breaches happen.

This is a unique type that makes money, which is why it’s often used in schemes to make money. Operators that want to move from individual users to corporations utilise ransomware to reap higher payouts.


Worms are like viruses in that they spread themselves and make copies of themselves. The only big difference is that you don’t have to do anything else. Once they get into a device, they do things on their own without being told to.

Trojan Horses

A Trojan Horse is a fake file that contains malicious code and needs the user to open it and run a certain programme. Trojan Horses can’t spread or copy themselves like computer viruses can. Still, their payload can harbor worms and other code.

What is Trojan Horse In Computer Networking (4)

Backdoor Attacks

Backdoor code in an application gives hackers remote access to a computer that has been hacked. Not only does it put sensitive data at risk, but it can also help the attacker become an APT (APT).

So, they can easily look around the computer, delete data, and put spyware on it. Attacks are sometimes so well-planned that they can put the networks of the U.S. government in danger.

Cross-site programing

Cross-site scripting languages can make it hard for you to use the internet because they can let bad apps into your web apps. This can often change the content that is pushed to your device, infect your device, and get your information.

What are some examples of malicious code

There are many kinds of bad code, but some are better known than others. Here are the most popular instances of the attacks.

Emotet Trojan

Emotet Trojan first appeared in 2014, when it was developed as standard malware. Since then, it has used email spam to spread malicious code. The people behind this attack try to get people to download infected files by using urgent subject lines or other phishing tricks.

If the Emotet Trojan gets on your device, it can run scripts that contain viruses or put command and control server malware on your device to cause serious infections. The attacks were temporarily halted in 2018, but they’ve returned as SMS malware.

Stuxnet Worm

Since 2002, the Stuxnet Worm has been breaking into computer networks. The first breach took place in an Iranian nuclear facility through a flash drive and destroyed critical equipment.

The worm has since been stopped, but the source code is still used to set up many breaches.

MegaCortex Ransomware

MegaCortex ransomware is the most well-known piece of code that does this. To use this method, the attackers put together two Trojans, Qakbot and Emotet. This made it easy for them to get into corporate networks.

Things turned out very badly. Cybercriminals stole information and encrypted files, and they also stopped everyone else from getting on the network. There are two variants of this ransomware: MegaCortex Version 1 and MegaCortex Version 2.

Wrapping Up

No one wants to lose money and data because of bad code. There are many ways to reduce the risk, like installing conventional antivirus software. Your network is more secure if you use a pop-up blocker, a firewall, and surf carefully.

It is essential to take measures to protect yourself from malware. Installing a reliable antivirus tool, which is sometimes referred to as a virus scanner, is your best bet for accomplishing this goal. In the following post, we shall discuss not only these questions but also others.


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