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What is Malware & How to Prevent Them?
Sep 18, 2020

Types of Malware & Tips to Prevent Them

The K7 Computing’s Cyber Threat Monitor Report finds there is an increase in the malware and ransomware cyber attacks in India. Mostly, the Indian Enterprises who are either unaware or not have requisite safeguards to protect their networks are at a higher risk. Did you know that conducting malware attacks has now become a business? Yes, some businesses are working as Ransomware as a Service (Raas). Ransomware is one of the types of malware and is one of the most common attacks propagated by hackers to extort money from users. All of this happens on the dark web. These businesses are also advertising their services on the dark web, strange but true. In this except, we will know more about malware attacks, its types, penetration methodologies, preventive measures, and cyber security insurance for these cybercrimes.

What is Malware?

Expanded as Malicious Software, malware is a set of codes and algorithms that are developed by hackers. It is typically used to cause system damage or get unauthorized access. Any malicious software cannot self-inflict itself onto a system. For any malicious software to work and do the damage, it was intended for; the user has to engage. Yes, some anti-viruses provide immunity to the systems and networks. The antivirus can either indicate the risk associated with the email sent on your ID or restrict the hacker from getting access even if you have engaged with the malware. But, the malware developers keep on mutating the virus to bypass the anti-viruses’ barriers. Hence, it is essential to update your antivirus software for efficient protection.

Common Types of malware in India

Mostly we have a fast and loose attitude when it comes to learning about the native jargon of security from cyber attack. But, knowing the terminology plays a fundamental role in containing and sanitising the threat.
  1. Ransomware: The 2017 ransomware WannaCry cyber attack made the people in India aware of this infection. Every year businesses lose millions of dollars to such attacks.
Ransomware attacks make you hostage of the attacker and until, and unless you pay the hacker, the system won’t be released. Today the hackers are leveraging social engineering to customise the ransomware attacks for inflicting the most significant damage and extort money.
  1. Malvertising: Malvertising is like a smart malware program that tricks the user into clicking on ads and then automatically installs a software program on the system. In technical terms, this is called drive-by-download.
Moreover, such ads run on legitimate and popular websites, so the user can do nothing but trust and engage.
  1. Spyware: Spyware cyber attacks are conducted to get access to a user’s personal information or spy on them. But, hackers won’t stop here.
They can gain access to the keystrokes used by the user and steal the passwords easily. This makes spyware another form of malware cyber attack that you should be aware of.
  1. There are other types of malware like viruses, trojans, worms, hybrid viruses, file-less malware, and adware. All these malicious elements have specific functions and targets.
Some malicious software will get access to the system and start straining the processing while others self-replicate inside the system within legitimate application folders. Adwares are used for aggressive product promotions.

How can a Malicious Software gain Access to your Device?

The K7 report and Avast antivirus software had found that the Operation Cerberus banking Trojan was added to a currency converter application and put for download on Google Play Store. Currently, reports are coming from Spain about this cyber attack tactic is taking undue advantage of the Spanish mobile users. But the K7 Cybersecurity found that the Indian banking users were also the target of this malware. This is one of the ways in which any virus can get access to your system; here are some other ways:
  • Emails: Clicking on unsecured links and suspicious messages from unknown or fictitious users.
  • Downloading malicious applications
  • Opening the links sent via SMS or Whatsapp
  • Accessing the web from unsecured Wifi networks

Preventive Measures Required for Malicious Software Cyber Attacks

Becoming a victim to such cybercrime attacks is in your hands. Provided that you adopt the requisite protective measures, you won’t have to deal with such issues. Follow these preventive steps:
  • No Jailbreaking: Mobile users often modify or force stop some basic device-specific security measures to enhance the phone’s speed. You shouldn’t do it. A phone’s security system is your most effective immunity against cyber attacks.
  • Only use Safe and Popular Source: Download any sort of application from authentic and reputable sources.
  • Data Encryption: Always make efforts to encrypt your data, mainly if you use mobile banking and have set your entire work profile on the mobile device.
  • Up to Date Hardware and Software: Just as we have said that hackers mutate the viruses and malware periodically. Similarly, OS and mobile companies also extend software and hardware updates to combat the changes. So, keep your devices updated.
  • VPN: A virtual private network won’t allow the hackers to get a hold of your data and access the device’s browsing history.

Does my Cyber Insurance Policy cover Malware?

If you are not aware of what is cyber insurance or would it secure you against cyber attacks then here’s the verdict: Yes, a good and authentic insurance policy will surely cover the monetary losses for the damage done by malicious software. This includes:
  • Restoration Costs: These are the expenses that a user might have to bear due to the data loss and financial loss because of a malware attack.
  • Furthermore, if the information accessible by the hacker can be misused. The cyber insurance coverage will also pay for the user’s liability on account of this misuse.
  • It will also cover legal costs, documentation, and transportation costs.
From the 1st malware attack, Creeper Worm, which was only developed for experimental purposes to the Operation Cerberus, such attacks have become highly sophisticated. So, taming them requires adequate prevention and damage control measures, that is provided by a cyber insurance policy. So, stay alert and save your money from being extorted.

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