Nowadays malware infections have become commonplace. Every day, the news reports damaging attacks on popular brands with depressing regularity. Meanwhile, consumers’ confidence suffers because users do not know how to sort out the issue, secure their transactions and fix the problem.
The question is can the problem be fixed at all? Cyber criminals have been so skilled lately, that malware is growing faster than organizations ability to respond to, never mind educating consumers about the latest attacks.
The malware attack is a complex, multi-layered organized infiltration of malicious software against a company or a consumer. Presently, hackers are using much more sophisticated malware to extract personal details, gain account access, and steal users’ data.
Some of the most popular types of malware are listed bellow:
- Banking Trojans – also called “crimeware,” malicious software designed to steal credentials for the purpose of banking or credit card fraud.
- Ransomware – malicious software that infiltrates your network or system and encrypts the data until a ransom is paid.
- Remote Access Trojans (RATs) – similar to banking Trojans, RATs install backdoors to provide remote login to an infected system or network allowing the fraudster additional access and further options for fraudulent activity.
- Spyware – software allowing the fraudsters to quietly watch and steal data from key logging or print captures on your computer system or network without your knowledge.
Each type of the above-mentioned malware has individual malware families, or groups of malware software packages which are similar in attack methods and lifecycle.
One of the most common types of malware listed above is the ransomware, which has been getting more and more popular every day. Last year, FBI registered $18 million in losses from a particular ransomware family called “CryptoWall”. This family had generated 992 complaints in the previous 14 months with victims reporting losses of over $18 million.
CryptoWall, CryptoLocker, and Teslacrypt are all examples of ransomware. Alongside individual users, ransomware attacks across multiple industries, including financial, medical, and manufacturing companies. Usually, the ransom must be paid in Bitcoin so that it cannot be traced back to the hacker. Not paying the ransom is most preferable, however, if a user or organization has not backed up their files recently, or if daily business functionality is stalled, paying the ransom remains the only way to fix the issue.
Usually, ransomware is the most threatening form of malware for corporations as the cyber criminal takes control of their network until the ransom is paid. This can escalate to a full data breach resulting in identity theft, invoice fraud, and other malicious activity that uses harvested data. In the worst case scenario, this might lead to the loss of users trust from a full data breach.
In order to prevent the companies and PC users from falling preys to a malicious online attacks, employees and customers should obtain basic knowledge about the types of threats, the social engineering tactics used, and how hackers usually fool people. In addition, users should take all the necessary technical precautions, such as backing-up their files regularly, making sure their anti-virus software is active and up to date, and making sure that their safe browsing and email filtering is turned on at all times.