One new form of malware discovered recently is a type that disguises itself as a fake DHL parcel delivery email notice and includes a file attachment that has a malicious file that can do harm to one's computer.
While this new form of malware is cleverly disguised and could potentially cause a number of problems to computer users, it unlikely that many in the United States will fall victim to the ploy becaue DHL is not a particularly popular means of shipping in the U.S. and is not written in english.
The new DHL malware, which was first reported by the website AppRiver, includes a message written in all spanish that roughly translates to, "Due to an error in the shipping direction, we were unable to deliver your package. It can be picked up at the post office, but first you must print the postal label attached to this email."
Simply opening the email will not release the malware onto the user's computer, but opening the attachment included could potentially execute the malicious file.
Malware damage and protection
Depending on the particular type of malware installed on a computer, the malicious code can do quite a bit of damage in a short amount of time.
Malware, whether a virus, trojan or worm, can infect and cause the catastrophic failure of computer systems and networks.
In some instances, a particular type of malware can remove or delete system elements that are critical to the system and in other instances the malware can overload the memory or network, causing the operating system to malfunction.
There have even been a number of viruses developed that can cause hardware failure, disable the function of drives and even open and close the tray of a CD or DVD device.
Much of the malware floating around the internet today is designed to steal data. Sometimes this data is as general as monitoring and transmitting a users internet history or internet search patterns (ie spyware) and in other instances malware is designed to steal passwords and other sensitive data.
Ultimately, having adequate virus protection software that can scan emails for potential threats, monitor a system, provide necessary system security and being smart with how you go about your business online are the best ways to combat these types of malicious threats.