Strength in numbers also applies to computer viruses. The more threats combined together, the more powerful and destructive it is. A blended threat is just that – a number of different viruses, computer worms and other harmful malware combined. Essentially a blended threat is just a type of computer threat that uses multiple techniques to attack an operating system. One example is a threat that is a computer virus – in the initial stages. It could also have capabilities of a Trojan horse or a worm to further infect your computer.
By combining different types of threats and malware (malicious software), a blended threat can cause optimal damage.
Say, for example, you receive an email. It could contain a virus, which will then continue to spread. It could also contain a worm, which can self-replicate, infecting your computer further.
Protection from blended threats
Even though viruses, worms and Trojan horses have their differences, one thing they have in common is email.
It’s tricky because threats can look like legitimate emails. In November 2013 a lot of spam emails appeared that offered seasonal jobs, which would make sense for the holidays.
So how can you protect yourself?
- Never open e-mail attachments sent from unknown sources. An unknown email could potentially contain a virus. Only open it if you know exactly where it came from.
- Perform weekly computer security updates. Some operating systems do this automatically, so you don’t actually have to do anything. If you have malware and anti-virus programs installed, make sure they are as up-to-date as possible.
- Disable scripts. Emails with scripts can contain harmful viruses, blended threats and other types of malware.