Do you suspect you are being hacked?
Signs of Malware & Cyber Attacks
- Emails not going through, or "bouncing".
- Free hard disk space decreases for no apparent reason.
- Google and other searches have flagged or blacklisted your site.
- Missing, corrupt, or otherwise abnormal log files.
- Rapid drop in traffic.
- Search engine results contain unfamiliar or suspicious links.
- Site visitors reporting spam email or browser redirects.
- Slowdowns, pop-ups, unresponsiveness, or crashes.
- Sudden or unexplained spikes in traffic.
- Unusual user accounts, content, or changes in permissions.
- Web browsers warn that your site or familiar pages are harmful.
Types of Malware
- Backdoor: An infection that installs itself onto a device to allow the attacker access. Backdoors usually let the attacker connect to the device with little or no authentication and take control of the infected machine.
- Botnet: Similar to a backdoor, in that the attacker access is given access to the system, but all devices infected with the same botnet receive the same instructions from a single attacker or server.
- Downloader: Malicious programs with the only purpose of downloading other malware. This type of infection is commonly installed by attackers upon first gaining access to a system.
- Information-stealing: Malware that collects sensitive information from an infected device and clandestinely sends it back to the attacker. This malware is typically used to compromise email or banking accounts.
- Launcher: Malware that launches or starts other harmful programs. A launcher tends to use evasive techniques to launch these programs, with intent of greater access to a system.
- Ransomware: A type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. With the growing use of cryptocurrencies and improved encryption software, there has been a significant increase in the number of ransomware attacks.
- Rootkit: One of the most difficult infections to both detect and remove, rootkits are designed to conceal the existence of other infections or harmful code. Rootkits tend to be paired with other malware components, such as a backdoor, to allow remote access to the attacker and make the infection difficult to detect.
- Scareware: Malware designed to frighten a user into buying something. It usually has a user interface that makes it look like an anti-virus or other security program.
- Spam-sending: Malware that after infecting a victim's machine, uses that machine to send spam. This malware generates income for attackers by allowing them to sell spam-sending services.
- Trojan: Any malicious computer program which is used to hack into a computer by misleading users of its true intent.
- Worm or virus: Malware that can copy itself and infect additional computers.
A Closer Look
Just as most malware tends to be made up of multiple components, malware itself is just one of the many components of security. Cybersecurity is similar to that of a cat-and-mouse game. As new defense techniques are developed, malware authors and malicious hackers (or "crackers") respond with new techniques to thwart future analysis. Furthermore advancements in security software have resulted in a significant rise in the number of social engineering attacks. We work around the clock to remain current with the never ending flow of new information.
We frequently encounter questions such as "How does a site or network become infected?", or "Is this a cyber criminal actively targeting me and if so why?" We strive to keep things simple. New vulnerabilities in operating systems, applications, and other technologies are discovered every single day. A vulnerability is any weakness that could be exploited by a threat to cause damage to an asset. An asset is something of value, tangible or not, that is owned by a corporation or individual.
The amount of information can be daunting, especially when you suspect that your property has fallen victim to attack. In current times security is not only becoming a more critical factor in technology, but malware authors are increasing their efforts exponentially. What is their motivation? While some malicious hackers simply find joy in the misery of others, the largest driving factor is of course money.
According to Business Insider in 2015, "If the hacker uses a piece of ransomware, on average about .5% of those victims pay up. This means that daily the hacker brings in about $3,000. This brings the hackers monthly income, minus the $5,900 in expenses, to $84,100." An analysis conducted by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that the cost of cybercrime could reach $6 trillion by 2021. Targeted attacks, such as a denial-of-service attack, typically tend to be carried out with malicious intent in which the attacker is more concerned with causing damage or embarrassment rather than turning a profit.
While nothing that is of much value can ever be "fully secure", the Internet should not be thought of as simply a dangerous place. The key is finding a balance between security and usability; to allow users both a safe and positive experience. We identify weaknesses and take preventive measures to stop attacks before they happen, with as little impact on the user experience as possible. A person could board up all the windows and doors in their house to stop someone from getting in, though this would hinder the functionality of the house quite a bit. We serve to pinpoint the ideal balance of security and usability, alleviate the fear of malicious hackers, and to protect your valued assets.
What should you do?
Multimedia Partners offers a wide range of security testing services including directed malware remediation, vulnerability assessment, threat modeling, network architecture reviews, wireless security assessment, social engineering testing, and penetration testing. If you are an administrator or an otherwise authorized person with a device, network or website: contact us to arrange a consultation.