Malware is a genuine threat to the online world and sadly, so many people don’t even realize they are in danger. It is so easy to live in denial or to simply submit to willful ignorance. I mean there are online scammers getting rich by using the same tired lines and routines that was developed years ago.
They are laughing at our nativity. Most of the people I see getting ripped off are actually very intelligent people. It is a matter of ignorance rather than stupidity. Our weaknesses have been researched thoroughly and are being exploited.
We are only easily deceived because we have been conditioned to be. We have been taught to blindly follow others because we we are constantly told that we can’t trust what we see or feel.
Instead we must trust people who are smarter than us because they have it all figured out. Well, they don’t. Look at all of the lies that plague our schools.
Lies like evolution and the big bang theory are taught to prove your insignificance. By learning things that go against our nature, change our nature.
The online world is a dangerous and scary place. With almost 4 billion people are online each day this virtual world has become a playground for those with malicious intent.
The thing that we need to realize is, just how much they rely on our ignorance. There are people who dedicate their entire lives to protect you yet, they cannot do anything for you unless you give them the opportunity…
Below is a brief peak behind the scenes. The things that go bump in the site. This is a very broad topic and in the future I will be digging much deeper into the boogeymen of this online world. For now I want to keep it short, sweet and to the point.
Trojans – Infiltration
The term Trojan originates from the Trojan horse that was presented to Troy. If you are unfamiliar with the story, the walls of Troy were virtually impenetrable. A hollowed wooden Trojan horse was given to the city of Troy as a gift. Once inside the walls, soldiers who hid inside this gift were able to open the doors for the troops to come in and take over.
This is a fitting name for such a program. “Trojan” viruses will disguise their self as an innocent and often useful program. Once they have penetrated your defenses, they can install or download harmful malware to your device. There are many types of Trojans that wreak havoc on systems and security all across the world. Below I will give a few examples.
– Ransom Trojans,
These notorious programs are designed to encrypt your data blocking access to your files or system demanding payment (or ransom) to regain access. There is no security software company, that I know of, that will ask you to make a purchase to eliminate a threat unsolicited. In order to find a threat, a legitimate software would have to first run a scan on your device to detect a threat.
– Security disabler,
These programs will intentionally disable vital security programs such as firewalls leaving your device vulnerable and unprotected.They are sent in to break down your defenses to leave you exposed for an attack.
– RAT (remote access Trojan or remote administrative tool),
A RAT will give access with administrative permissions to the attacker. Once they have control they can access your private data, download or alter your files or even erase your system. If someone gains control of your device you are left completely exposed.They will have access to any auto fill passwords on your browser allowing them to easily infiltrate your accounts. Any delicate information that you have on your device will be at there disposal.
– Password Stealers,
These programs target specific passwords such as bank account credentials, info about IM programs and game account data. Then they can use this data to steal from you or hijack your online presence.
– Botnet networks,
Also referred to as Zombie Armies, Botnet networks refer to groups, usually massive groups, of computers that have been hijacked by a hacker. These computers will continue running as normal until they are called upon. When that time comes the hacker has access to thousands of computers to unleash DDoS attacks, steal data or to send spam on a massive scale.
There are many more of these nasty little pests out there, but their is so much more ground to cover. So for now, I will stick a pin in it. To be continued…..
Spyware – Lurking in the shadows
Spyware is designed to steal information such as browsing habits, credit card info, purchase history, passwords, ect. It is usually downloaded by being attached to a program that is voluntarily downloaded. Sometimes information about the Spyware will even be included in the license agreement. You can also be infected through malicious email or websites.
The most obvious danger of Spyware is the exploitation of your online presence and imitating you online. Hackers can use the trust your friends and family have for you to help them effortlessly spread the infection. They can use this information to access your money, social media accounts and your emails. With these compromised your entire contact lists can be exposed to this treachery.
The enormous amount of resources being utilized by some spyware can also slow down your device, crash your system or even overheat your system, possibly damaging hardware. Some are also been known to redirect your results in search engines in attempt to lure you into dangerous or harmful websites.
There are also programs within this category that monitor your system and\or log your keystrokes to help create a profile that can further assist in the attack. Spyware is all to common and is very intrusive and dangerous.
Ransomware – Held hostage…..
Ransomware are programs designed for the purpose of holding your data or even access to your entire system hostage allowing the attacker to demand a ransom. It will block a user’s access to files or their system unless a purchase is made. This purchase usually hides behind a guise of a tech support or a fake antivirus program.
Though ransomware is a very huge category, I will just mention a few here. At a later date I will be going deeper down the rabbit hole…
Scareware consists of pop-ups claiming that a system is infected and asking for payment to rid yourself of a problem that doesn’t exist. If you are browsing and run into one of these messages simply close the page. If it will not allow the page to be closed you can press control+shift+escape to open the task manager and locate the browser you are using (Firefox, chrome, IE, chrome, ect.). Right click on the process then end process tree. Once you have successfully closed the page you have eliminated the threat.
These are a bit more disturbing. These are programs that will lock you out of your system displaying a lock screen upon booting. Often with an official looking government seal for the FBI or some type of law enforcement agency, claiming that you are under investigation for cyber crimes (pornography, illegal downloads, ect.) hoping that the implied guilt will cause you to impulsively sweep the whole allegation under the rug.
No law enforcement will lock you out of your computer or ask for any kind of money from you for any real or implied crime. They will go through the channels of the justice system and will speak to you directly. Guilty and innocent people alike have fallen for this type of scam.
This stuff is really scary. These programs will steal your data and encrypt it demanding a payment for decryption. The reason that this is so frightening is that their is no software which can be use to recover your data. Once it is compromised, it is gone. Even if you pay the ransom, you most likely will never recover your data.
If you are ever targeted by a ransomware attack, DO NOT PAY!!! This will only encourage another attack on you or another unsuspecting victim. You can try to use a free decryptor to recover your data but, not all of these programs have decryptors that can help, often due to the sophisticated level of encryption used.
I know that loosing your data is not something that you would want to do. Often times the only thing you can do is to restore your computer to factory settings. You will lose everything but you will regain control of your system. Sadly the only foolproof way to protect yourself from this nightmare is to preventing the attacks.
Malwarebytes – The Monster Slayer…
With all of these malicious software constantly on the prowl, we have to protect ourselves. There are many things we can do and many things we can avoid that will help us stay safe online, but the reality is, no matter how savvy you are not safe unless you have security in place.
For years I have trusted, recommended and to this day still use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Their database of malicious software is constantly expanding allowing it to fight off more and more threats each day. As new threats surface malwarebytes is putting them down.
It is rapidly evolving. There is a free version of MBAM but it is simply a removal tool. (a very powerful removal tool). But if you wish to truly protect yourself, the Premium version will far exceed your expectations. Here are a few of the features that are included in the Premium,
Ransomware – MBAM detects and protects you from ransomware attacks. It also monitors your system for ransomware-like behaviors such as, encryption, and shuts it down instantly before any harm can be done to your data or system.
Real-time protection – This feature monitors your system in real-time and if a malicious program is detected it will stop it in its tracks and quarantine it preventing an infection or an attack.
Web protection – As you browse the web Malwarebytes will effectively divert you from entering know malicious sites (sites known to spread malware).
Application Behavior protection – Some attacks occur by using applications already on your system to execute malicious tasks. This feature monitors your applications and ensures that they only do what they are intended to do.
Exploit protection – Exploitation occurs when a weakness is found in your system. If anything targets these vulnerabilities they will be blocked before any damage is done.
I have always used Malwarebytes in tandem with an antivirus program, as it started out as a removal tool. But it has become so much more. I have decided that MBAM is now ready to replace Anti-virus all together. Many other people still use a dedicated Anti-virus software with it however and the extra protection can’t hurt. The great thing about Malwarebytes is that it can run side by side with one without creating conflict with your system.
Like I said, I strongly recommend this program to everyone I know. If you are interested in complete protection you can you can trust with your virtual life click the link below,
The threat neutralized…
No one is immune to the dangers of this online world. In order to protect ourselves we must take action. We should not just simply give up and give in to powerlessness. They have been working for years learning how to exploit every shred of data, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
We are not a stupid people, we have just been blinded by our preconceived notion of safety. This false security is our biggest weakness. If we do not wake up and take control now we will lose everything we have worked so hard to achieve. Nothing or nobody deserves control over your life.
It is now the time to take your life back. They are attacking us every day. And each day that passes they are getting closer and closer to your front door. Will you be ready and waiting when they get their? I know I will be….
If you have any questions about malware or if you have any opinions about Malwarebytes feel free to comment below or you can reach me at the email posted below and I will get back to you. We are in this together…
Best of luck,
Founder of tonypcmd.com