What Types of Malware Attacks Are the Most Popular?
The biggest threat to your company might be malware. There are many several types of malware, and hackers are constantly investing in more advanced, difficult-to-detect versions. If malware is successfully installed, there may be lost profits, unanticipated downtime, data theft, and other expensive repercussions. Take preventative action right away to safeguard your company.
What Exactly Is Malware?
To cause harm to a person or organization, a threat actor will use malware, which is malicious software. Malware is typically discovered in various places online, including emails, unnatural links, ads, hidden text, and websites that you may visit. Malware’s ultimate objective is to exploit or damage networks and computers, frequently to steal money or information.
The malware can install itself and run its program with just one employee’s careless click. Attacks by malware are increasing day by day. Attacks occur at a startling rate of 10.4 million annually. Attack types, as well as threat vectors, are also evolving. Malicious actors are becoming more organized, and ransomware and supply chain attacks are increasing. Compared to before the pandemic, ransomware gangs and malware as a service are more prevalent.
It’s critical to remember that many malware attacks start with phishing or social engineering attempts. Training users is crucial because they are the targets of social engineering, even though there are tools that organizations and individuals can and should use to reduce the risk of malware attacks.
What Types of Malware Attacks Are the Most Popular?
1- Adware Malware
Adware, also referred to as “spam,” distributes harmful or unwanted advertising. Adware can make your computer perform poorly, despite being comparatively harmless. Additionally, these advertisements might unintentionally encourage users to download other dangerous malware. Maintaining updated versions of your email clients, browser, and operating system will enable them to stop dangerous adware attacks before they can download and install, helping you to protect yourself from adware.
2- Fileless Malware
Fileless malware does not affect files or the file system directly, unlike customary malware, which infects devices using executable files. Instead, this malware uses non-file objects like PowerShell, WMI, Microsoft Office macros, and other tools. Almost 40 percent of malware is lifeless, according to research.
Furthermore, in 2020, fileless malware grew by nearly 900 percent year over year. Operation Cobalt Kitty, in which the “OceanLotus Group” gained access to different organizations and carried out covert operations for almost 6 months before being discovered, is a distinguished example of a fileless malware attack.
Antivirus software has a hard time guarding against file-less malware because there isn’t an executable file. Limiting internet users’ credentials is the most effective way to control malware attacks. An organization can reduce the danger of this malware by using least freedom access, in which internet users are given the privileges and rights necessary to complete a particular task.
3- Viruses Malware
A file has a virus attached, which is launched when the file is opened. Next, the virus will move, corrupt, delete, or encrypt your files and information. In addition to carrying out its malicious deeds, a virus can reach other systems and infect other programs.
A professional antivirus solution can assist you in preventing viruses by protecting all of your operating systems from a fixed location while upholding centralized visibility and control. Run thorough scans regularly, and keep your antivirus updated.
4- Worms Malware
A worm can replicate in different hardware or software, like a virus. Worms, unlike viruses, can blow out automatically once introduced to a system or network. Worms frequently target a hard drive or computer’s memory.
You should ensure your devices have the most up-to-date patches installed to protect yourself from worms. With technology like email filtering and firewalls, you can identify files or links that might contain worms.
5- Trojans Malware
A trojan is malicious even though it masquerades as a trustworthy one. Unlike a worm or virus, a trojan is executed by its victim to proliferate. This is frequently done using social engineering techniques like phishing. It highly depends on social engineering to proliferate, so it is up to users to take precautions.
Almost 82 percent of breaches in 2022 contained a human factor. Because employees are the targets of these attacks, awareness training regarding security is essential for preventing trojans.
6- Bots Malware
A bot is a software that executes a preplanned task without a human factor. Attacks can be carried out by bots much more quickly than by humans. A botnet is created when a computer with a bot infection spreads it to different devices. This network of compromised machines can then be managed and used to initiate dangerous attacks, like brute force attacks or DDoS attacks, frequently without the permission of the owner being aware of the device’s involvement in the process of attack. On particular hardware, bots are also exploited for cryptocurrency mining. One way to manage bot activity is by utilizing tools that can help distinguish between traffic coming from bots and humans.
For instance, you can include CAPTCHAs in your forms to stop bots from sending too many requests to your website. You can distinguish between good and bad traffic using this. Organizations should monitor site traffic and ensure that users use the latest versions of their user agents and web browsers.
Ransomware attacks encode data on a device and demand a ransom, making them undoubtedly the most prevalent type of malware. Threatening to release or delete important information if the payment is not compensated by a specific date, the threat actor demands payment.
Due to their effects on governmental offices, hospitals, railway networks, and telecommunication companies, ransomware attacks are among the most newsworthy malware types, with a 13 percent increase. Targeting notable organizations like crucial infrastructure and supply chains remains profitable for individual actors and ransomware gangs.
At the start of 2022, ransomware attacks on the Costa Rican government severely disrupted the country’s financial system and other government operations, declaring an emergency.
An organization can benefit from an MDR solution by responding quickly to attacks and monitoring network traffic. Training in security awareness can also aid users in spotting and avoiding suspicious activity.
8- Spyware Malware
Spyware is a tool that cybercriminals exploit to observe user behavior. The malware can access personal information like passwords and usernames by keeping track of the keystrokes a user types in throughout the day. Spyware frequently causes credentials to be stolen, and a serious data breach can result from this. It often comes from downloading suspicious files or corrupt files.
A common type of spyware called a “keylogger” watches and logs user keystrokes. With this sort of malware, criminals can take control of user names, passwords, credit card numbers, and other information that users might type into an operating system.
In addition to anti-virus software, authentications and employee training can be exploited to stop spyware and the resulting credential from being stolen.
9- Mobile Malware
As its name highlights, mobile malware is created mainly to attack mobile devices. Not only has businesses’ and employees’ use of mobile and tablet devices increased, but so has the prevalence of smartphones and other forms of malware.
Mobile malware can use a variety of techniques, such as monitoring and logging calls and texts, pretending to be popular apps, stealing login information for banking accounts, or storing information on the device. Smishing, or SMS phishing, is commonly used to spread mobile malware.
Since many employees use their mobile devices for different purposes, this is another situation where security awareness training may be essential.
Although rootkits were not created with the intention of becoming malware, hackers now frequently use them as an attack method. A rootkit enables a user to continue to have elevated privileges on a system without catching the attention of anyone.
To put it simply, rootkits conceal organizational-level access while granting it to a user. Organizations must use a zero-trust strategy and prevent privileged access to stop rootkits from causing harm. Everywhere this strategy is used, it should be tested. In addition, organizations should use multi-factor authentication to stop access using a single credential.
The Bottom Line | Malware Attacks
Regardless of its form, malware constantly threatens your business, systems, and most important assets. Always be proactive and invest in your security environment, as we advise. Several free and paid anti-viruses are available that you can consider to protect your devices. You can protect your important data or information in this way.
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