Malware: Some of the Worst Infections and What to Avoid?
Getting a virus or infection on a device can be a timely and costly experience. According to a recent study from Panda Security, cyber criminals currently create a staggering 160,000 new malware samples every day, some of which are more damaging to user and corporate devices than others.
Here are some examples of the worst malware infections seen in the threat environment so far:
Within the last few years, hackers adopted a new strategy with malware, where the infection is able to hold a victim’s files hostage until he or she pays a specific ransom in untraceable digital currency. These types of samples are known as ransomware, and have become increasingly popular in recent years.
Cryptowall and Crytolocker
One of the worst ransomware samples was CryptoWall. It operated like any other ransomware sample – users would receive notification that their files and information had been encrypted, and that they would not be granted access until paying a ransom. In many cases, the files were not returned even when the ransom was paid. However, this sample makes the list because of its widespread attack vector – according to PCWorld, this sample infected more than 600,000 computers during a six month period in 2014. CTU researchers have referred to CryptoWall as “the largest and most destructive ransomware threat on the Internet.”
Password Stealing Samples
Password stealers are another dangerous type of malware with the ability to snoop and grab victims’ account credentials. AboutTech antivirus expert Mary Landesman noted that these samples can obtain passwords for nearly any system, including file transfer protocol programs, email, online games, banking applications and even e-commerce sites. Consider the damage a hacker could do with access to your bank account, proprietary content and email account.
Beware of the Citadel Trojan
Citadel Trojan, a widely distributed infection, was one of the most malicious infections seen with this type of malware. According to Security Intelligence, this sample connects to a command-and-control server, which directs its operations and enables communication. Citadel is also able to prevent identification by most threat detection systems, and can live within a victim’s device for years at a time, stealing information and sending it back to the C&C server the entire time. Millions of devices across the globe have been infected with Citadel, and Security Intelligence noted that as many as 1 in every 500 devices has been attacked by this type of sample.
Introducing Mobile Malware
While viruses are known for infecting desktop and laptop computers, the expansive mobile device environment changed all that, providing a new target for hackers. Now, mobile malware is more popular than ever with cybercriminals. According to a report from Pulse Secure, 97 percent of malware focuses the Android operating system. The report cites that "Android applications continue to offer the lowest barrier to entry among all mobile device platforms currently available," With the rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scaling rapidly, companies are at a higher risk of cyber-espionage, and other security threats through mobile access to internal systems.
Researchers recently discovered one sample, dubbed Android/PowerOffHijack, that has the ability to carry out functions on an infected device even after users think they’ve shut it off. The malware hijacks the power-down process, appearing to the user as if the phone has shut off, Mashable reported. However, the malware is secretly working behind the scenes, sending messages to third parties, recording calls or taking photos and spying on the user.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Company?
With a sea of security software options it can be daunting to know where to start. Some companies start with industry brands they’ve heard of like Symantec and Norton. But how do you truly know which security software solution is best for your business? With so many new malware attacks occurring daily, what company can you rely on to effectively support your security concerns today and into the future?
Before selecting a security software vendor, the best place to start is with a Security and Vulnerability Assessment. Knowing where you are will help you better understand where you need to go.
Netari Global Communications Group
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For more information about Security and Vulnerability Assessments or other security options, contact us by email or call (813) 343-0440.