Most Common Network Channels used by Malware

In a digital world, Malware uses many network channels to spread virus among most of computers which gives a lot of risks, vulnerability and data exfiltration to our system software. A computer could be vulnerable to attacks if the person on another side of the network could find open loopholes in your system. The user can suffer from huge loss of data which causes to extreme damage to the system.

Even your personal data can be lost from the computer. We are not talking about the windows defender or firewall or antivirus security. All these can help in any situation when some unwanted virus is going to attack the system. But there are a lot of channels or ports that make your system vulnerable to attack.

For instance, you leave traces while posting on Facebook. These are the examples that represent the specific type of channels that attacker can find to get in your computer. Here is some fact of malware.

  1. Simple internet browsers face for almost half of the attacks (~45%), and it is done by tracing the packets user send by visiting or using specific website.
  2. Android malware had extreme growth in past year. Malicious apps in Google Play Store has risen by 38%.
  3. Outdated software is most vulnerable to attacks. Java and Flash Player are common in this category.
Most Channels Used By Malware to Spread On Internet
  • Drive-by Download

Anyone could put anything in a file and name it whatever they want. It may look legit to you, and you don’t know what it actually contains before you download and open it.

A huge majority of malware enters into victim system by drive-by download. These best way to stay safe is to scan your computer and file first before you open it.

These techniques are particularly dangerous as it automatically downloads viruses on the other side of the computer and the attacker can easily know about your system which activity is going on your computer.

 How Drive-By Download Attack 

  1. Drive-by downloads work by exploiting vulnerabilities in web browsers, plug-ins or other components that work within browsers.
  2. They can affect browser in the number of ways.
  3. Drive-by downloads are expanding because the exploit kits that allow cybercriminals to compromise websites are readily accessible.

 Ways to Protect from drive-by downloads are

  1. Encourage employees to keep their software up to date.
  2. Install web-filtering software.
  3. Install No Script on your Firefox browser.
  4. Disable Java.
  5. Keep tabs on BLADE (Block All Drive-by Download).

Don’t give the user admin access to anyone.

  •  USB

Every USB drive has a file named Autorun. As soon as you put it on PC, this file contains the way they work.

However, autorun file could be modified and changed. There were some many popular attacks in past, used to spy, watch their activity and breaching their personal data.

Be sure while using USB in shared PCs in cafe and coffee shops, their system could be already infected and your USB could also get infected by them. Take USB only with an updated antivirus.

The US-CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) issued a warning on Thursday that malicious code is increasingly propagating via USB flash drive devices.

  • File Sharing

File Sharing is another way of the malware attack, in which malware attacks through sharing data and file.

Once malware makes its way into a system, they begin to damage a system’s boot sector, data files;     software installed in it and even the system BIOS.

This further corrupts your files and your system might shut down as well. The main problem is that these malicious software programs are designed to spread in a system.


  • LAN (Local Area Network)

Admittedly, different malware scripts are written today, and what is really scary is that once a computer gets infected all other computers on the same local network can get infected too.

They share one public router IP address and these computers are open to the world all the time. That group of linked computers may become extremely vulnerable to all other kinds of threats, just because one computer got infected in any way.


  • Email and Messaging

The biggest and smallest malware attacks in past are commonly spread through emails. A majority of emails sent today contains some kind of malware.

Most of the mail services like Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook uses a certain level of security, so you have filters for spam.

Be careful with what you open, and from whom it’s from.

  • Unpatched Software



Softwares are being developed all the time, and just because you are too lazy sometimes to install the newest update you may expose your computer to various different kinds of threats.

A zero-day exploit is popular on the topic of cybersecurity, and it is known for a long period of time. The hardest thing is that you cannot effectively avoid it; it is the software developers mistake and not yours.

To stay safe on the internet, do regular anti-virus checks on your computer. This should be your first and foremost step to stay safe on the internet.


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Ashwini Gurne

Ashwini Gurne is a software developer and also a contributor for Security leaks. As a contributor, her aim is to work on latest technologies and to spread cyber awareness among general public.

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