Malware first appeared in 1971, before broadband internet even existed. The first variations began with people just testing what they could do and were not malicious. Eventually, that time came to an end once cybercriminals began to realize that they could wreak havoc and profit from creating malware. Almost at the same time, cybersecurity was created to help combat these viruses and malicious attacks by cybercriminals. This project paper will dive into the technical issues that arise from malware detection and prevention. It starts with defining malware and goes over the history of malware from its birth to today. Then this paper will list all of the different variations of malware and the processes they execute to break into systems and propagate. Next, it goes over the different variations of malware defenses, starting with antivirus software. The paper will define antivirus software and how it functions as well as provide a history. Then it will dive into cryptographic defenses to define, provide history, and explain the methods employed by cryptography. Finally, it will go over firewalls explaining how they function and their history. Malware will never cease to exist, so it is highly important to consider what computer and network technologies you should employ to protect yourself. This paper isn’t just to dismiss malware but to help people understand better how these technologies can work to prevent malware attacks both during and before the attack even happens.

Key Words: Malware, Antivirus Software, Cryptography, Firewall, Key, Cipher, Gateway

Year Manuscript Completed

Fall 2022

Senior Project Advisor

Tricia Jordan, PhD

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Applied Sciences

Document Type