The risk of extortionate software is still very high and will continue to play a major role in 2021. There are also other, very sophisticated types of attack. It is important to understand their approach and to protect yourself in this way.
These are the most common malware attacks to watch out for.
© Photo: © Thaut Images – AdobeStock
Malware and no end: the test institute
reports that the number of new malware programs continues to rise sharply in its security report. The institute’s systems recorded more than 114 million malware samples in 2019, and the trend is pointing upwards for 2020 and 2021. The damage caused by malware reaches hundreds of billions.
Hacker Attacks 2020
Arguably the most buzzing attack in 2020 was hacking the Twitter accounts of celebrities like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kanye West and Elon Musk, as well as the accounts of Apple and Uber . Tweets appeared on Twitter in July asking readers to transfer $ 1,000 to a Bitcoin account because of the corona pandemic. The named celebrities would then double this amount back. A 17-year-old teenager was arrested in Florida in late July. Together with two accomplices, he had apparently managed to get the log-in data of some Twitter employees via social engineering, i.e. through fake calls or fake emails, and was thus able to access the servers of the social media service . In total, he is said to have stolen around 100,000 US dollars.
In July, celebrities like Barack Obama tweeted tweets calling for donations to fight Covid-19 and promising to double the sums deposited.
In mid-August, the company BW Fuhrpark, which organizes the driving service for the German Bundestag, was hacked. The attackers managed to smuggle in ransomware using the Emotet Trojan virus. BW Fuhrpark discovered the intruder before data was encrypted. The systems store for three months which MP was driven where and at what time. The data for the next planned trips are also located there. The greatest financial damage was caused by a ransomware attack on the internationally active Danish facility management service provider ISS in February. As a result of the attack, the computers of hundreds of thousands of employees had to be switched off. It was only on March 20 that the company was able to announce that it had regained control of its infrastructure and that the most important systems were operational again, albeit temporarily with reduced functionality. The cost of cleaning the systems and the lost revenue from the forced break add up to between $ 75 million and $ 112.4 million, according to the ISS.
Is my pc hacked? How to recognize attacks
The 10 most dangerous viruses in 2021
Some families of malware are just unbreakable, even though they have been known for years. This applies, for example, to Emotet, a piece of malware that criminal hackers keep changing and adding new functions to. They use Emotet to inject ransomware and other malicious programs into their victims’ computer systems. Other attack patterns such as CEO fraud have also been known for years and are still working.
The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) warned against Emotet in 2018 and described the virus as the “world’s most dangerous malware”. Emotet is still active today and causes huge damage.
The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) called
the most dangerous malware in the world. The malware originated in 2014 as a banking Trojan, was then modified several times and can now load almost any other program. Criminal hackers use them to smuggle in ransomware or software for remote access in order to gain control of someone else’s computer. Emotet reads the address book of Outlook and sends mails to the contacts it finds. Usually attached is a Word file with an integrated macro that copies the virus to the addressee’s computer after the file is opened. The prerequisite is of course that the recipient ignores Word’s warning before activating the macro.
started out as a banking Trojan that sniffed out access data to bank accounts. In the meantime, the software has been further developed into a universal means for spying on computers. It often occurs in combination with Emotet and prepares the final attack. Trickbot deactivates the services of the running anti-virus program and gains administrative rights in the system. The malware then collects access data and information about the computer and the network and forwards them to the hackers. You can now use the data to decide whether an attack is worthwhile. If so, they penetrate the system with the help of the collected access data and usually reload ransomware such as Ryuk.
The Quora website, which specializes in surveying experts, voted Ryuk ransomware as the most dangerous malware in the world in 2020.
They install it about two to three weeks after the criminals spied on the network with Trickbot
– preferably on a server – and create a group policy which the software distributes to all connected computers. The encryption then begins in one fell swoop, Ryuk uses the RSA-4096 and AES-256 algorithms. The ransomware creates a file called RyukReadMe.txt in each folder, which contains further instructions for paying the ransom. The amount depends on the financial possibilities of the user or company.
The security website Bleeping Computer reported a successful hacker attack with the malware Maze on the Japanese camera manufacturer Canon in August.
is a ransomware that works with a particularly nasty trick: as soon as it has penetrated a network, the criminals sift through the information there and copy the most important files to their own servers. The attacked company’s computers are then encrypted. If the company does not want to pay a ransom for the decryption, the criminals threaten to publish the extracted data on the Internet. In 2020, internet service provider Cognizant and camera maker Canon fell victim to Maze.
The Clop ransomware places a text file with instructions in each encrypted folder. She emphasizes that it is “nothing personal”, that it is all about business.
is a ransomware that is gaining popularity among criminals. During her attack, she blocks Windows processes and disables numerous Windows applications, including Windows Defender and other anti-virus tools. Then it encrypts the files and appends a “clop” to each file name: setup.exe becomes setup.exe.Clop. In addition, she places the text file ClopReadMe.txt in each folder, which contains instructions for paying the ransom.
6. DDoS attacks
The security firms have seen an increased incidence of blackmail attempts in the past few months
observed. Groups with names like “Fancy Bear”, “Armada Collective” or “Lazarus Group” threaten companies, especially from the finance, e-commerce and travel industries, with paralyzing one or more of their servers. As a rule, they specify the IP addresses of the target systems. If the company does not want to pay, they launch demo attacks. The claims amount to six-figure sums, payable in Bitcoins.
7. Business Email Compromise
Business Email Compromise
, BEC for short, is also called CEO fraud or boss scam. The attacker forged the look and feel of an email sent by a company’s managing director to one of his employees. The content of the message is that he or she should immediately transfer a sum of money to a certain account – which of course was set up by the attacker. The trick has been known for a long time, but according to the security firm Trend Micro, these attacks have increased by 19 percent since the second half of 2019. Apparently the criminals are taking advantage of the fact that many companies have sent their employees to the home office and that there are therefore fewer controls on payment transactions.
8. Cyber attacks and Corona
The international police authority Interpol warned in August 2020 that fraudsters were increasingly taking advantage of the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.
On August 4th, the international police agency Interpol reported a sharp increase in cases of fraud, in which the attackers became aware of the uncertainty of the population
took advantage of. Online fraud and phishing cases increased 59 percent in the first half of the year. Criminals sent emails in which they promised information about Covid-19. However, the links included led to servers that placed malware on visitors’ computers or to websites that queried data such as credit card numbers and passwords.
9. Router attacks
According to a study by Trend Micro, the number of brute force attacks on routers increased sharply in late 2019 / early 2020 and reached levels of over 200 million attacks per month
Since autumn 2019, Trend Micro has recorded a sharp increase in
Attacks on routers
. In May 2020 alone, the manufacturer discovered around 200 million attacks of this type. Not only home, but also company networks are affected. On the one hand, the attackers work with script-controlled brute force attacks that try out millions of passwords in a short time. On the other hand, they exploit security gaps, some of which have been known for years – some router manufacturers no longer provide updates for their devices. As soon as the router is captured, the criminals start attacks against IoT devices or computers in the network from there.
10. Fileless malware
we mean malware that can do without an executable file on the hard drive. Instead, they are scripts or codes that are written to the registry and other system files. From there, it is copied into the computer’s memory. The malware then uses Powershell, the Windows Script Host or the Windows WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) interface for its activities, such as establishing remote connections and logging keystrokes.
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