Malware can spread in a network through various means, taking advantage of vulnerabilities in systems and devices. Here are some common ways malware can spread within a network:
1. Email Attachments: A common method is through email attachments. Malicious actors send emails with infected attachments, and when the recipient opens the attachment, the malware is executed, allowing it to spread to other computers on the network.
2. Phishing Attacks: Another common method is phishing attacks. Users are tricked into clicking on malicious links that lead to fake websites or downloading infected files. Once the malware is downloaded, it can spread within the network.
3. Infected Websites: Visiting infected websites can also lead to the spread of malware. These websites may contain malicious scripts or downloads that, when accessed, infect the user’s computer and potentially spread to other devices on the network.
4. USB Devices: Malware can also spread through USB devices. When an infected USB drive is connected to a computer, the malware can transfer onto the computer and network.
5. Exploiting Vulnerabilities: Malware authors often exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems, software, or devices to gain unauthorized access and spread malware. They target vulnerabilities that have not been patched or updated, allowing the malware to spread easily within the network.
6. Network Sharing: If a network allows file sharing or has shared drives, malware can spread through those shared resources. Once an infected file is accessed or executed, the malware can quickly propagate to other devices connected to the network.
7. Malicious Downloads: Downloading files from untrusted sources or peer-to-peer networks increases the risk of malware infection. These files can contain hidden malware that can spread within the network.