Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST)
Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST)

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Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST)

Week 3: Malware


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Last week we explored how authentication works and the role of passwords in protecting online identities and digital information. Now you're armed with different ways of improving your password security, including password managers and two-factor authentication. This week we'll be looking at another common way the computer systems are compromised, which is through the use of malicious software or malware. By the end of the week you'll be able to describe the different types of malware and their key characteristics, as well as how malware gains access to computer systems, and which steps you can take to prevent your own computer from being infected. 'Til next week.
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The two biggest threats to consumers online are malware and phishing. Cory introduces you to malware (short for malicious software), which is the focus of this week.

Malware is the collective name for software that has been designed to gain unauthorised access, and disrupt or damage data, software or hardware. There are several types of malware, such as viruses, worms and Trojans, which you’ll learn more about in the next few sections.

This is a pie chart with each segment representing a type of malware. These are: worms, virus, trojan, botnets, adware, spyware, ransomware.
Figure 1 Malware and associated terms

However, as malware has evolved from its beginnings as demonstrations of prowess by individual programmers to sophisticated technologies developed by organised crime, the boundaries between the different categories are beginning to blur. What is common though is the objective to obtain unauthorised access, with an intent to cause disruption or to steal information.

Week 3 game – Know Your Enemy

It is recommended that you use a desktop/laptop computer to play the games in this course, and use headphones where possible for the best audio experience.

Continue your learning by following the link to this week's game:

Week 3 game – Know Your Enemy (open this link in a new tab/window so you can come back here easily after playing the game) [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

A note on learning pathways

Learning pathways are a recommendation only – you may choose to follow your own learning pathway and complete all sections, if you feel this will help you to complete the end of week quiz successfully.

Please note:

  • The Amber pathway includes the extended topics of the week.
  • The Green Pathway does NOT include the extended topics of the week.

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