Recommended Download

Is your Mac Infected?

The error "There is no application set to open the document." might even occur due to malicious apps tampering your Mac. We recommend that you run a free scan to check for potential malware threats.

This looks like a harmless notification. Except it’s not. It’s a classic example of malware. Given that most people will not know that this is a malware, they will download this program, without knowing the harm it can cause to their systems. There are 5.4 billion malware threats lurking in cyberspace and just like the above example, most disguise themselves as genuine files, emails, or software download programs. However, they launch very sneaky attacks on your system, rendering it completely inefficient and useless.

Now, you might be thinking “How do I know which one is malware and which isn’t?” For this, you need to know about malware variants. While malware variants keep on evolving, you need to be aware of these 7 variants that hackers rely on to infiltrate your system. These variants differ in their attack mechanisms; however, they do share some similar characteristics and traits. Based on this, you can develop a cybersecurity framework to mitigate such vicious threats. Let’s explore each of these variants.

Meet the Malware Actors- The Villains of your Security Systems

Schlayer

Schlayer is a form of malvertisement. This malware, which masquerades as a false Adobe Flash updater, spreads largely through malicious websites, hijacked domains, malvertising, and even through Wikipedia footnotes and YouTube video descriptions. Most frequently, users are persuaded to install the malware by the phony Adobe Flash player update. It acts as a downloader and dropper for MacOS.

The malware, which was initially discovered in 2018, posed a potential threat to the MacOS operating systems, with many attacks targeting Americans (31%). Attackers are inventing new ways to inject this malware into computer systems primarily through social engineering attacks. Out of all the sectors, the education sector has been the worst victim of Schlayer.

Trojan Horse

Also commonly referred to as Trojan, this malware poses as a legitimate software that when downloaded, embeds malicious routines or files onto the system. Most often, when a Trojan horse is executed, it will install a virus or may contain no payload. It is not capable of self-replication and must be activated by system administrators. However, it has the potential to grant remote access to an attacker, who may then engage in any harmful behavior that would be of interest to them. Depending on the payload they are linked to, Trojan horse programs can harm the host in a variety of ways. They are typically disseminated through social engineering.

Worm

This is an active, self-replicating malicious program that can spread across the network by exploiting various system vulnerabilities. It exploits targeted vulnerabilities in the operating system or installed software. Through continual scanning, the Worm consumes a lot of bandwidth and processor resources, making the host unstable and occasionally causing the system to crash. It may also include a payload, which is a malware built to damage the computer by stealing data, destroying files, or creating a bot. Worms are capable of replicating independently.

Spyware

This is a rogue program that exploits operating system capabilities to spy on user behavior. They may also be capable of interfering with network connections or altering security settings on the infected system. Spyware spreads by attaching themselves to legal software, posing as a Trojan horse, or exploiting known software weaknesses. It can track user behavior, gather keystrokes, and monitor internet usage habits before sending the data to the program’s author.

Adware

Adware, also called advertising-supported software, is a malware that spreads through advertisements, most notably through internet pop-up ads. Most are intended to be revenue-generating tools for marketers. Some adware may be coupled with spyware, which makes it extremely dangerous as it can track user activities and collect personal information.

Rootkit

This is a program that uses a collection of tools to avoid detection in a system. The tools are very advanced and complex programs designed to hide within the legitimate processes on the infected systems, making them extremely invasive and difficult to uninstall. They are designed with the ability to take full control of the system and achieve the highest privileges on the machine. Owing to the evasion strategies employed by rootkits, most security vendor solutions are ineffective in identifying and eradicating them, necessitating heavy reliance on manual efforts. These may include but are not limited to, observing computer system behavior for unusual activity, analyzing storage dumps, and scanning system file signatures.

Bots

Bots are programs that are designed to carry out specified tasks. Bots are derived from 'robots,' which were first developed to administer IRC chat channels. Some bots are employed for legitimate purposes such as video programming and online competitions. They are also used for developing Botnets. A botnet is a network of host computers (zombies/bots) controlled by an attacker or botmaster. Bots infiltrate and control other computers, which in turn infect other linked systems, forming a botnet. Bots can be widely employed as spambots, DDOS assaults, web spiders to harvest server data, and distribute malware on download sites. Websites deploy CAPTCHA tests to protect against bots by certifying that users are human.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a program that infects a host or network and locks down the system while demanding a ransom from system/network users. Normally, the program encrypts the files on the infected system or locks down the machine, denying users access.

How to Make Your Systems Malware-Resistant? Follow These Steps

Preparation

  • Building malware-response and remediation abilities within the incident response team.
  • Improving communication and coordination within your security teams.
  • Obtaining the necessary tools (hardware and software) and resources to aid in malware incident response.

Identification and Analysis

Organizations should attempt to detect and validate malware occurrences as quickly as possible in order to reduce the number of affected hosts and the amount of damage sustained by the company. These are some suggested actions:

  • Investigate any suspected malware incident and confirm its presence. This includes identifying malware activity characteristics by examining sources such as antivirus software, intrusion prevention systems, and security information and event management (SIEM) technologies.
  • Identify which hosts have been infected by the malware so that the hosts can be contained, eradicated, and recovered.
  • Use NIST SP 800-61 guidelines and other malware-specific criteria to minimize the potential business impact of security incidents.
  • Detect malware behavior by analyzing it either actively (by executing the virus) or forensically (by investigating an infected system for malware traces).

Containment

Containment consists of two primary components: a) stopping the spread of infection and b) limiting host damage. Almost every malware incident requires containment measures. While dealing with an incident, it is critical for an organization to determine which response strategies of containment should be used. They should have policies and procedures to make quick containment-related decisions that reflect the level of risk that the organization is willing to bear.

Eradication

Eradication's primary purpose is to eliminate malware from affected hosts. Organizations should be prepared to deploy diverse combinations of eradication approaches simultaneously. They should enable awareness initiatives that facilitate rapid eradication and recovery efforts to reduce the stress caused by major malware attacks.

Recovery

The two primary aspects of malware recovery are a) restoring infected hosts' functionality and b) leveraging data and eliminating temporary containment measures. Organizations should carefully analyze potential worst-case scenarios and decide how to recover, that may include rebuilding hacked hosts from scratch or using known good backups.

Implement a Robust Cybersecurity Framework to Thwart Malware with Cloud4C

Usually, a malware attack can cost 50 days in time. Get 24-hour automatic monitoring, predictive alerts and deep analytics, cyber threat intelligence as well as cybersecurity consultancy and support. Cloud4C, one of the country’s top managed service providers, offers unique, AI-driven Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Security Operations Centre (SOC) products, that may help you transform your whole security strategy with cutting-edge cybersecurity frameworks and approaches. Get in touch with us to know more about malware prevention and securing your IT landscape.

author img logo
Author
Team Cloud4c
author img logo
Author
Team Cloud4c

Related Posts

Vulnerability Scanning versus Penetration Testing: Which One Do You Need? 29 Jul, 2023
In January 2020, one of America's largest chains of hotels faced the worst security breach it could…
External vs Internal Penetration Testing: A Comprehensive Overview 29 Jul, 2023
As cybercrimes continue to surge, research into comprehending and forecasting malicious activities…
Types of Penetration Testing: White Box, Black Box, Gray Box 27 Jul, 2023
71% of organizations consider cybersecurity at the top of their priority lists. Ironically, more…