What is Riskware?

On the Internet, you will find many legitimate programs whose functionalities are misused by intruders to carry out malicious activities. Such applications are known as Riskware.

Let us discuss more on Riskware and how to prevent their attack.

What is Riskware

The term Riskware is coined using two words Risk and Software. Riskware is a legal program, but its functionalities and weakness can be exploited by cybercriminals for carrying out illicit activities. The attackers can use it to their advantage to delete, edit, block and perform other modifications on the files and applications of your system. It can also slow down your network and PC. The hackers can exploit Riskware to hijack your computer, steal data, and get administrator-level privileges.

An example of Riskware could be a weather app. Every weather app uses the location or GPS service of the device for providing the weather report as per your location. A skillful intruder can exploit this functionality of the weather app and can spy on you.

What are the Types of Riskware

A Riskware could be any program whose security has been compromised. However, they are classified into the following main types −

Remote Access Applications

Remote Access applications or portals are used by many IT technicians to solve the problems of the consumers remotely. However, its functionalities can be significantly exploited by cybercriminals.

Using Remote Access applications, the exploiters can get free access to the system. They can get their hands deep into the system to modify system files and introduce malware programs. Previously Remote Access applications were limited and were available to only professional troubleshooters. Now such applications are widespread among computer users.

File Downloaders

File downloader applications such as Internet Download Manager and other similar programs can be advantageous for the cyber attackers for releasing the malware to the system. Though these applications are beneficial for the users as they provide uninterrupted and fast downloads, the intruders can make users download malicious files through them.

Operating System Updates

Operating System updates such as Windows 10 are primarily helpful for fixing system vulnerabilities and adding new functionalities. However, some update patches can act opposite and deploy bugs and vulnerabilities on installation. Cyber attackers can exploit those vulnerabilities for releasing malicious codes or programs.

Some more types of Riskware − Internet relay chat (IRC) clients, Dialer programs, Computer activity monitoring software, Password management utilities, Internet server services – such as FTP, web, proxy, and telnet.

How to prevent Riskware

Till now, you might have known how dangerous Riskware can be. To add more to the misery, it is pretty challenging to detect Riskware programs. Here are a few tips to prevent Riskware on the system −

  • While downloading and installing a program, thoroughly read its review and make sure that it is from the reputed developer.

  • Ensure that you download your required applications and games from official or trusted sources.

  • Frequently update your operating system and applications to fix security bugs and vulnerabilities. Again, update only through the trusted sources.

  • While providing the permissions to the applications, ensure that whether they need that particular permission or not. Avoid giving administrative privileges to apps.

  • After taking help via the Remote Access application, make sure that the remote access permission is stopped.

  • Always keep your system equipped with a robust security program to keep it safe.

  • Uninstall any such program which is disturbing the system working and blocking essential applications like security app or others.

Updated on: 07-Jun-2021


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started