Cybercriminals use malware to hack your system, time to stay alert during lockdown !!

Globally all the business sectors are still struggling to get through the Covid-19 impact, but it’s business as usual for the cybercrooks, who likes more online traffic. Corporate security teams need to be ready with their security infrastructure against a series of cyberattacks during the Covid-19 pandemic when new technologies are adopted for remote collaboration and communication.

A recent checkpoint published report shows, during pandemic lockdown how the malware attacks had grown rapidly with the increase in internet traffic:

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware attack is a type of Malware attack, which encrypt or lock a victim’s computer/ website, and demand ransom for recovery. The sensitive data, system control is locked until the ransom is paid, and usually, it is settled in Bitcoins later which can’t be traced.

  • Very recently Indiabulls and Cognizant servers were targeted by the ransomware “Maze
  • The famous and the biggest one was the “WannaCry” ransomware attack, thousands of Windows corporate computers were infected back in 2017
  • Mobile app-based ransomware is growing, completely locks your device 
  • “Locker” is another kind of ransomware which infects the victim’s OS & make it impossible to access the file system, applications

Malware is a term widely used for malicious software that includes viruses, Trojan, Worm, and many other types. Typically, malware is used to slow down or crash the servers, spy over the remote computers, and sometimes shutting down the server as well.

A virus is a trigger-based (normally .exe/ .bat files) software program that is put in the victim’s computer to do some specific con. It generally put in the servers, system registry 3-4 level down by the attackers so that antivirus, snippers won’t be able to see it.

are genuine-looking files (text, video, image) used to infect the system memory, spy over the system logs, hijack traffic.

 – It has the capability of replicating its copies across the victim’s network without user intervention/ any trigger; it overloads CPU processes to downgrade system performance and lead to even system crash down.

Cybercrooks used these Malwares in many forms, unnoticed by the IT security guys :

Timebomb attack – when a program is planted to do damage at a later date after a criminal is far away. Typically committed by internal folks who put this virus into a system with a trigger date after his last day in Organization

Zero-day attack – Criminal puts malware in the new servers, switches before hardening so initially system looks okay but after some period vulnerability starts to open up 

XSS attack – In Cross system scripting attack the fraudster hacks a genuine website and adds malicious links/ images in it using JavaScript malware; which will eventually take the visitor to certain pay per click sites. Used to deface the value of the website.

Brute force attack – A program to try every single type of password; Most of the people don’t change the default password so it’s a very popular attack these days. for Ex. facebook brute

Social Engineering attack – Trap Customers or collude ex-employees to reveal system weaknesses, passwords, etc.

Denial of Service (DoS) attack– Attackers used techniques like HTTP flooding or using Botnets to shut down the server. It’s like thousands of browsing requests from many different computers (DDoS) from a range of attacking IP addresses.

How to Protect against Ransomware:

Usually, the Banks, Govt agencies, Large Corporates are the main targets of Ransomware attacks who hold sensitive data and can pay quickly. During the Covid-19 pandemic when the corporate workplaces turned residential many of these logical malware-driven attacks are inevitable. It’s required to educate employees, customers about it and protect against it:
  • It is advised to get an authentic antivirus/ security app installed and update them regularly
  • Use WPA2 encryption for your home router
  • Periodically scan all files (incl. the zipped, hidden) in your PC, Tablet, Phone
  • Check if any site has your default password – if so, change it
  • Don’t use pirated software, movie download sites, adult sites, untrusted eCommerce platforms
  • Change password for online banking, eCommerce sites, trading platforms every 2-3 month
  • Never use free WiFi at coffee shops, Railway platforms, Airports
  • Need to upgrade on to cloud-based applications, much secure, and can be rolled back; otherwise, get a system back-up to a hard drive.
  • Discard emails from an unknown person, unfamiliar address
  • Avoid emails containing untrusted attachments – just delete the Phishing emails generally contains info like a lottery, job offers, freebies, etc.

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