Running a business is difficult enough, but the evolution of malware has recently made it much worse. Every year, there are millions of new malware strains to contend with, and each one is harder to detect. The year 2021 has been particularly bad for malware due to the increase of people working from home and additional hardships that are taking place. We will be going over 10 of the most dangerous malware to be on the lookout for as we progress through the year.
1. COVID-19 Phishing Emails
While the world is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftereffects, hackers are taking the opportunity to target vulnerable individuals. In 2021, cybercriminals have been sending out mass emails claiming to contain updates about the pandemic or relief payments. When the individual clicks on the link provided, they will download malware onto their device, which will either freeze their files or steal login credentials.
It is important to remember that you are unlikely to receive pandemic updates through email by random individuals. If you receive an email from a stranger, you should run their name through an online background check before even thinking about opening it. You will be able to see their place of employment and criminal record if they have one. You will probably find out that the email is spam, and you should just delete it.
2. OS Updates
Most users are now aware to only open files and emails from authorized individuals. Hackers have become aware of this, and they are disguising their email addresses to appear as though they belong to verified Microsoft employees. The email claims to contain information about new Windows updates. When the user tries to download the file, it will show up as a “.exe.” This will likely be ransomware, which will encrypt all your files so that you cannot access them. You will need to pay money to the hacker to obtain the decrypting software.
3. Clop Ransomware
Clop is a version of CryptoMix ransomware. This variant tends to focus on users who have Windows as their primary operating system. It can attack entire networks rather than just individual computers. This ransomware can freeze hundreds of Windows processes and programs, leaving the victim helpless to stop it.
4. Gameover Zeus
This malware is well-known for compromising the financial information of victims. This trojan uses peer-to-peer infrastructure. It uses spam messaging to gain access to a user’s computer. It then joins a botnet and monitors when you enter confidential information in your online bank account or payment service.
The value of cryptocurrency fluctuates over time, and the amount of effort it takes is excessive, making it not worthwhile to do for many users. Cryptojacking is when hackers send out spam emails with crypto mining code embedded in it. When the user clicks the link, the code starts working on the computer and mining coins. The victim’s computer takes the brunt of the work, and the hacker ends up with all the crypto coins.
For your business-related mobile apps, there is malware known as AlienBot. This malware gets inserted into legitimate apps, where users input login information. The malware steals the data and then eventually takes control over the victim’s whole device.
7. REvil Ransomware
This ransomware requires the user to pay the hacker in Bitcoin to regain access to their files and programs. After the initial period expires, the ransom will double. This ransomware is notorious for leaking the confidential data of celebrities onto the dark web.
8. Ryuk Ransomware
Ryuk is well-known in the world of ransomware. As with the others described, Ryuk will infiltrate your device and block your files, programs, and device’s system. The occurrence of this ransomware has been rising in recent times because more people are working from home, away from the safety of IT at the office. They are more likely to accidentally allow Ryuk to access their computer through Remote Desktop Services.
This ransomware targets both small and large organizations. When the hackers extract the data from the network, a portion of it will be immediately published on the dark web. The victim will receive proof of this, along with a ransom letter for the remainder. Victims are more likely to pay the ransom quickly when they see that the hacker is serious about the threat.
Tycoon is Java-based ransomware that aims to extort both Windows and Linux users. The ransomware will worm itself into the system by using an insecure server connection. After this, it can block anti-virus software to remain hidden.
The Repercussions of Malware
Companies contain a large amount of confidential data that needs to be always kept safe. This is particularly the case when dealing with the addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and financial information of clients. If your customers’ data gets lost in a privacy breach, it will be very difficult to regain their loyalty.
How to Avoid Malware
One of the most important things you can do is always keep your device updated. Every new patch is additional protection against malicious malware. You should also take advantage of your anti-virus software and run frequent scans for any sign of nefarious activity.
You should also be careful while browsing unfamiliar websites. If in doubt, do not input any information into the site, and navigate away as quickly as possible. Most anti-virus software will indicate a website’s safety by showing a green checkmark before you click on it. If it does not have that checkmark, you should take the time to look for a more reputable site instead.
Another way to indicate a website’s reputation is by looking for the “HTTPS” at the beginning of the URL. This means that it is secure and should be safe to input confidential details.
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