We are exposed to malware infections any time we browse the web or use any electronical device. There are a lot of malware types out there and there are also several ways we can be attacked, therefore it is essential to take measures in order to be protected. Does malware only affect the system or can it physically damage the PC? The truth is that an affected PC could be physically damaged to the point of being burned out or making the hardware fail. We will explain how it happens and what to do to avoid it. We have already seen how a wide range of malware could destroy an Android phone.
How can malware cause physical damage
Every type of malware affects the system in some way. Malware can slow down the PC and web browsing, and cause apps to malfunction. However, most malware only affect software-related elements. A lot of users wonder if malware can really affect hardware, causing the entire device to stop working.
The answer is yes. A PC can end up being completely ruined by some threat. Cryptocurrency-mining malware is the perfect example. This type of malware uses the PC’s resources to function. It can limit the GPU and CPU, rendering them useless. It can even cause the hardware to burn out.
This happens because the PC starts working under pressure for a long time. It would be as if we take our car’s RPM to the maximum for a long period of time.
Through a flash drive
As explained by Kaspersky, other types of threats can affect hard drives. Malware can cause physical damage to components by altering the firmware and its functions. Likewise, saved data would certainly be in danger.
You surely have thought about malware that infects the PC via USB ports while reading this article. A malware-infected flash drive could physically affect the PC.
It could even damage and burn our USB ports. It could even affect our motherboard and other components.
How to protect ourselves against this type of issues
How can we protect ourselves against this type of issues? The most common issue is the one caused by cryptocurrency-mining malware, as we have said above. This type of malware can come via different sources like malicious webpages, apps and emails. To avoid this, the best option is to always download software from official websites no matter the platform you are using.
Additionally, having security programs and tools is essential. This way we can face any possible threats that can put our device at risk.
Physical damage caused by flash drives is rare. This is where common sense comes into play. We have to beware of any flash drive we find laying around, for example. There is an article where we explain how to analyze a flash drive.