Massive new waves of malware techdoctorhere
Massive influxes of malicious software, techdoctorhere, are sweeping through the digital landscape. Organizations worldwide are currently facing an overwhelming surge of ransomware attacks, with a staggering 50% increase in daily attack rates over the past three months.
Massive new waves of malware techdoctorhere
The repercussions of these attacks on businesses have grown exponentially in terms of both frequency and severity. Just last month, reports emerged of ransomware attacks targeting major players such as a shipping giant, a US-based brokerage firm, and one of the world's largest watchmakers.
Malware stands as one of the most formidable security threats confronting organizations today. According to Deep Instinct, malware attacks witnessed a staggering 358% surge in 2020 compared to the previous year, with ransomware attacks skyrocketing by 435% year-over-year. The trend shows no signs of abating in 2021, as the first half of the year alone witnessed a jaw-dropping 93% surge in ransomware attacks compared to the same period in 2020, according to Check Point's mid-year security report.
Security departments must remain vigilant in monitoring their networks to promptly detect and contain malware before it inflicts severe damage. However, when it comes to malware, prevention takes precedence. Therefore, understanding what malware entails, along with familiarizing oneself with the ten most prevalent types of malware, becomes crucial in warding off potential attacks.
What precisely is malware? Short for malicious software, malware is a term encompassing a variety of subcategories, including viruses, worms, ransomware, bots, Trojan horses, keyloggers, rootkits, spying programs, crypto malware, and adware. Malware infiltrates systems via physical means, email, or the internet. One of the most common attack vectors is phishing, where deceptive emails carry malicious links or attachments. Infected USB drives, unpatched or fraudulent software and applications, insider threats, and weak or faulty hardware and software also serve as conduits for malware to access devices and networks.
Detecting malware can be challenging, as it often remains undetected for extended periods. Users may only become aware of a malware attack through anti-malware alerts, pop-up ads, redirects to malicious websites, or experiencing sluggish computer performance and frequent crashes. Malicious actors exploit devices using malware to their advantage, stealing data and credentials, conducting surveillance on users, holding devices hostage, corrupting files, and more.
Let's explore the different types of malware:
1. Viruses: Computer viruses infect devices and propagate across systems. They rely on human intervention to spread, typically when users unknowingly download malicious code through malicious ads or phishing emails. Once inside a system, viruses can modify computer functions and applications, copy, delete, or steal data, encrypt data for ransomware attacks, or conduct DDoS attacks. The Zeus virus, first detected in 2006 and still in use today, exemplifies the longevity and evolution of viruses.
2. Worms: Worms are self-replicating malware that can infect other computers without human intervention. They exploit vulnerabilities, malicious links, or files to enter devices, subsequently seeking out other networked devices to attack. Often disguised as legitimate working files, worms can go undetected by users. The notorious WannaCry ransomware, which exploited the EternalBlue vulnerability, serves as a prime example of a worm attack that rapidly spread across 150 countries.
3. Ransomware: Ransomware encrypts files or devices, demanding a ransom from victims for decryption. While ransomware falls under the broader umbrella of malware, it represents a distinct form of malware. There are four main types: locker ransomware, crypto ransomware, double extortion ransomware, and ransomware as a service. Noteworthy ransomware variants include REvil, WannaCry, and DarkSide, the
strain involved in the Colonial Pipeline attack. Data backups have traditionally served as the first line of defense against ransomware, but additional measures, such as advanced protection technologies and anti-malware with anti-ransomware capabilities, are crucial in safeguarding assets.
4. Bots: Bots are self-replicating malware that spreads to other devices, creating botnets or networks of compromised devices. Infected devices carry out automated tasks commanded by the attacker. Botnets are often utilized in DDoS attacks, as well as for keyboard recording and phishing email campaigns. Mirai, a well-known botnet, initiated a massive DDoS attack in 2016 and continues to target Internet of Things (IoT) devices and other vulnerable systems. The COVID-19 pandemic also witnessed a surge in botnet activity, especially targeting consumer devices used for remote work, which further facilitated malware propagation within organizational networks.
As the threat landscape evolves, organizations must remain vigilant and implement robust measures to counteract the increasing waves of malware, protecting their digital assets from unauthorized access, data breaches, and financial losses.