Thursday, September 29, 2022

5 Most Dangerous Virus & Malware Threats in 2022

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Viruses and malware are constantly evolving, becoming more advanced and more dangerous by the second, making it extremely difficult to keep your data protected. Unless you’re properly protected (which most people aren’t), you’re at risk of becoming a victim of the latest computer virus threats and malware attacks.

Cybercriminals are relentless and will stop at nothing to hack your computer or phone to steal your most valuable data — including bank details, personal photos, and sensitive ID card information. This is why you must have a working antivirus installed on your PC, Mac, Android, or iPhone. I recommend Norton 360 for low-cost, secure protection against all cyber threats.

1. Clop Ransomware

Ransomware is malware which encrypts your files until you pay a ransom to the hackers. “Clop” is one of the latest and most dangerous ransomware threats. It’s a variant of the well-known CryptoMix ransomware, which frequently targets Windows users.

Before beginning the encryption process, the Clop ransomware blocks over 600 Windows processes and disables multiple Windows 10 applications, including Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials — leaving you with zero chance of protecting your data.

The Clop ransomware has evolved since its inception, now targeting entire networks — not just individual devices. Even the Maastricht University in the Netherlands became a victim of the Clop ransomware, with almost all Windows devices on the university’s network being encrypted and forced to pay a ransom.

2. Fake Windows Updates (Hidden Ransomware)

Hackers have been increasingly sending emails that instruct readers to install urgent Windows OS updates. The emails trick readers into installing the “latest” Windows updates, which are actually ransomware ‘.exe’ files in disguise.

The ransomware contained in these emails is known as “Cyborg”. It encrypts all of your files and programs and demands a ransom payment to un-encrypt the files.

Unfortunately, many email service providers and basic antivirus software aren’t able to detect and block these emails. This is why you must be using an antivirus that provides proper internet security, protecting you from dangerous emails.

3. Zeus Gameover

Zeus Gameover is part of the “Zeus” family of malware and viruses. This piece of malware is a Trojan — malware disguised as something legitimate — that accesses your sensitive bank account details and steals all of your funds.

The worst thing about this particular variant of the Zeus malware family is that it doesn’t require a centralized “Command and Control” server to complete transactions — which is a flaw found in many cyberattacks that authorities can target. Instead, Zeus Gameover can bypass centralized servers and create independent servers to send sensitive information. In essence, you cannot trace your stolen data.

4. RaaS

“RaaS” — also known as “Ransomware as a Service” — is a growing industry in the underground hacker community. People without the knowledge to carry out a sophisticated ransomware attack can pay to hire a professional hacker or team of hackers to perform the attack for them.

The growth of the underground RaaS industry is worrying, as it shows how easy it is to infect people with ransomware despite the bad actors having no previous experience with designing or coding malware.

5. News Malware Attacks

Cybercriminals often use current news stories and global events to target people with malware.

One example is hackers using the wave of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak to target individuals with malware. Hackers send out emails that are disguised as legitimate information about the outbreak. Readers are prompted to click a link to learn more about the information, but the link contains malware that copies the files on your device and steals your personal information.

Research currently focuses on the spread of this malware in Japan. Still, it will become an issue worldwide during any kind of newsworthy outbreak.

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