Top Most Dangerous Types of Malware Attacks

Malware

Top Most Dangerous Types of Malware Attacks- Hackers use malicious software programmes to distribute various types of malware attacks in order to gain unauthorised access to sensitive data and breach protected networks and information systems. Malware attacks are delivered to a target system or network using a variety of techniques by cyber adversaries. Email is the most usual method. 94 percent of malware attacks are started by malicious emails.

Furthermore, cybercriminals utilise social engineering techniques to persuade people to install malicious software. They also use a command-and-control server to tell sophisticated malware variants how to carry out harmful payloads, such as remotely exfiltrating sensitive data from infected machines.

New malware strains appear on a regular basis. As a result, it is critical to comprehend the characteristics and traits of various malware attacks in order to prevent them.

The most recent malware attacks are listed below.

Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts important data and prevents people from accessing computers. Ransomware attacks are used by hackers to blackmail victims into paying a set amount of money in exchange for the decryption code. Criminals frequently demand ransom in cryptocurrency. If the victim fails to pay, their personal information will be destroyed or sold on the dark web.

Ransomware attacks have serious effects for the victims, including lost business prospects, network and system outages, data loss, and a tarnished reputation. One of the most popular types of malware attacks is ransomware. In the year 202, there were almost 304 million attacks worldwide. A ransomware assault on a business costs an average of $133,000 on average. According to security analysts, ransomware attacks against enterprises will occur every 11 seconds in 2021, with a global cost of recovery topping $20 billion.

Types of Malware Attacks: Viruses

Malware designed to change software programmes by injecting malicious codes into an infected machine is known as computer viruses. Viruses frequently use self-replication to spread over a network. Higher infection rates in the computer system connected to the infected network come from successful viral reproduction.

Computer viruses are created by cybercriminals for a variety of purposes. The most common are damaging a network to prevent a business from receiving critical services, gaining financial benefit, and demonstrating that a secure IT environment can be hacked. Attackers use emerging technologies to create and carry out more sophisticated computer virus attacks. According to statistics, at least 6,000 new viruses are produced every month.

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Adware Attacks

Adware attacks are a type of malware that displays persistent adverts in an infected computer’s web browser. Because the perpetrator intends to advertise services or products without the victim’s agreement, these schemes are frequently harmless.

Adware attacks can be quite bothersome due to their nature, as they can appear at any time while a user is utilising internet services. Adware attacks usually disguise themselves as legitimate programmes or attach themselves to other operating programmes to deceive users into installing them. Adware assaults are still quite profitable since they collect revenue when a user clicks on them. A total of 1,841,164 persons were affected by adware assaults in 2020.

Malvertising

When using the internet, almost every internet user has seen the following notification or something similar: ‘Your device is running low on memory due to malware infection.’ To clean it with antivirus, go here right now. Clicking on the advertising banners, on the other hand, frequently results in the download of malware or a link to a malware-infested website. Adware assaults are similar to malvertising attacks.

Malvertising, or malicious advertising, is a type of attack in which malicious cyber actors place malware-laden advertisements on various advertising websites or networks. Hackers make ads that look like real adverts in order to attract more users and take advantage of the possibility to spread malware.

Malvertising threats remained 72 percent greater than the normal average in the second quarter of 2020, as hostile cyber actors took advantage of possibilities created by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Types of Malware Attacks: Backdoor Attacks

A backdoor attack is a method of circumventing encryption and authentication mechanisms in a network, embedded device, computer, or other digital product.

Backdoor assaults are carried either by infiltrating a distant area of a running software programme with malware, such as a trojan horse, or by utilising a separate harmful application masquerading as genuine software.

Backdoor attacks happen when cybercriminals install malicious code into a device’s operating system or firmware in order to track all of the device’s activity. The attacks allow criminals to get secure, remote access to a computer or network, as well as access to encrypted sensitive data or files.

Backdoor attacks are one of the most common cybersecurity problems affecting firms in the EU and around the world, according to the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA).

Trojan Horse 

Trojan horse virus is based on an ancient Greek legend in which a wooden horse was used to conceal soldiers entering Troy. A trojan horse malware, on the other hand, deceives victims into believing it is legitimate software while hiding a destructive application. For example, attackers can send email attachments containing what appears to be real software to a large number of people. However, opening the attachment automatically instals a malware.

Because the payload can perform other attacks, Trojan horse malware attacks are risky. Trojan horse assaults are commonly used to create a backdoor that allows hackers unauthorised access to infected machines, personal information, online banking details, or to launch ransomware attacks.

Spyware Attacks

Spyware is a frequent sort of malware. Spyware is software that captures and exfiltrates data from a person’s or an organization’s network and operating systems without the victims’ knowledge or agreement.

It’s basically a malicious programme used by attackers to monitor all activities carried out on a computer or mobile device. The main goal is to collect and distribute sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, passwords to accounts that store sensitive data, online bank account information, and personally identifying information, for use in malevolent events.

The majority of spyware applications track a user’s activity. Some have other features, such as the ability to install additional software packages and change a device’s security settings.

According to a report from 2021, growing use of spyware and other forms of malware has resulted in a 79 percent spike in business malware detections.

Types of Malware Attacks: Browser Hijacker

Browser hijacker software, also known as browser redirect virus, is used by cybercriminals to make unauthorised changes to a computer’s web browser settings or configurations without the user’s permission.

Browser hijacker virus allows attackers to forcefully redirect users to websites, frequently harmful ones.

Various negative repercussions of the malware attack include the installation of many toolbars on the hijacked browser, the development of frequent malvertising or adware pop-up notifications, web pages loading slower than expected, and changing the default search engine to one controlled by the hackers.

Attackers utilise browser hijacking for a variety of reasons, including generating cash through adware and malvertising, or installing spyware programmes to track a user’s web browsing habits and activities.

Browser hijacker software is one of the top 10 malware threats hitting organisations today, according to Malwarebytes.

Keyloggers

Keyloggers, also known as system monitors or keystroke loggers, are viruses that monitor and record all keystrokes on a computer’s keyboard. Other sorts of keyloggers are designed to function on mobile devices that run a variety of operating systems.

A keylogger malware programme saves the information it collects and delivers it to a malicious cyber actor who can subsequently extract sensitive data using other tools. Keyloggers, unlike other malware attacks, do not harm the systems they infect; instead, they allow unwanted access to confidential data. Keyloggers are frequently used by attackers to acquire sensitive financial and personal information and sell it for profit.

Bots and Botnets

A bot is any device that has been injected with malicious code and is being utilised to carry out harmful operations under the control of an adversary. A botnet is a network of malicious bots made up of a large number of bots. Botnets can be made up of a group of IoT devices, mobile devices, servers, or personal PCs.

Threat actors operate botnets from afar, and their actions are undetected to the average computer user. DDoS attacks, click fraud operations, and sending spam or phishing emails are among the most typical botnet-based attacks.

More than 1.3 billion bot and botnet attacks were recorded in the third quarter of 2020, indicating that bot and botnet attacks are widespread.

RAM Scraper Malware Attacks

RAM scraper attacks are malware assaults that let cyber criminals locate and steal personal information. It’s a type of malware that steals sensitive data from a volatile random access memory.

Modern RAM scraper malware is programmed to inject itself into running processes or to run directly on a machine. It is able to avoid detection as a result of this. Once the malware has infected a computer, it can access and exfiltrate personal information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, encryption keys, and passwords. RAM scraper attacks can either store the read data locally or communicate it to the attackers over the internet.

Because it is one of the top four malware families attacking points of sale, it mostly affects businesses (POS).

Crypto-Jacking

Because the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is continuously increasing, fraudsters use crypto-jacking software to mine bitcoins using the equipment and resources of unsuspecting victims.

The crypto-jacking malware mines cryptos without the end-permission user’s or knowledge, using JavaScript from the victim’s web browser. A wicked person, in essence, steals memory, CPU time, power use, and other resources.

The more attackers use JavaScript to run crypto-jacking malware, the more computational power grows. As a result, it’s important to remember that crypto-jacking malware isn’t always destructive, but it does slow down the infected laptop.

According to Symantec’s threat landscape analysis, crypto-jacking malware increased by 163 percent in the second quarter of 2020.

Rootkits

Rootkits are malware programmes that allow attackers to gain unauthorised access to software or a computer network. A rootkit’s presence, as well as the presence of other computer programmes that make up the rootkit, is designed to be hidden.

To install and deploy a rootkit, cybercriminals use a variety of methods, including automated installation if a user clicks on it or direct attacks, such as phishing, vulnerability exploitation, and brute-force attacks, to get administrator access. Rootkits can also disable antivirus software, making it unable to detect dangerous programmes or actions. As a result, they are difficult to detect.

Rootkits become considerably more difficult to remove as a result of these characteristics, especially if they embed themselves in a hardware’s firmware. Rootkit assaults may entail the device being completely replaced.

Types of Malware Attacks: Crimeware

Crimeware is defined as any malicious computer programme or group of destructive software designed solely to facilitate unlawful acts in an online context. The majority of browser hijackers, keyloggers, and spyware malware programmes are classified as crimeware.

An exploit kit, for example, is a set of tools that allows cybercriminals with limited technical knowledge to carry out an attack. Exploit kits and other sets of crimeware tools can be purchased for a low price on dark websites.

According to a Verizon analysis, one of the top three cybercrimes in 2019 was crimeware, which accounted for at least 93 percent of attacks and breaches.

Hybrid Malware Attacks

Hybrid malware assaults combine existing malware types such as ransomware, viruses, trojan horses, and worms in a new way. In addition, hybrid malware combines the properties of all the malware programmes that have been included. As a result, hybrid malware is capable of carrying out numerous attacks at the same time. A hybrid malware that combines the qualities of a worm and a virus, for example, can use the virus’s capabilities to modify the code of a legitimate application while also using the worm’s ability to propagate across a network and reside in a computer’s memory. Because numerous malware programmes are executed at the same time, these types of attack payloads are enormous and deadly.

Computer Worm Attack

Computer worms are malicious software programmes that infect a computer or network and then spread to other connected devices while remaining active on the afflicted workstations. Before propagating and replicating to all connected devices, worms take use of security flaws and vulnerabilities in the targeted networks.

The conclusion is that a worm assault does not require any user activities to spread and execute, such as clicking or installing a malicious programme, because they spread automatically if any device is infected. Unlike virus malware attacks, however, worms may not inflict direct harm but may increase bandwidth consumption, thereby disrupting network activity and vital IT infrastructure.

Drive-By Attacks

A drive-by attack is a means of distributing various forms of malware rather than a malware attack. The method is used by hackers to inject malicious scripts into the HTTP or PHP code that is used to build a susceptible website. The strategy necessitates attackers creating malicious scripts that automatically install malware whenever a user visits an unprotected website, hence the term “drive-by assault.” Furthermore, the adversary can create malicious programmes that automatically redirect a user to a malware-infested website.

Drive-by assaults are malware attacks that take advantage of flaws in software installed on a host system, operating system, or web browser. Microsoft recently issued a warning about new drive-by attack methods aimed at users of Firefox, Chrome, and Edge.

Fileless Malware Attacks

When attackers use already installed software programmes to carry out a harmful assault, this is known as fileless malware. In contrast to typical malware attacks, a fileless malware threat makes use of previously trusted software. As a result, this sort of malware does not necessitate the use of a malicious application to carry out an attack.

Malware that isn’t stored in a file frequently lives in a computer’s RAM. To inject malicious code, it usually uses default operating system technologies like Windows Management Instrumentation and PowerShell. They are good targets for fileless attacks because they are trusted software that conduct system activities across several endpoints. Since 2020, fileless malware attacks have grown at a 900 percent rate, making them one of the fastest-growing types of threats.

Types of Malware Attacks: Rogue Software Programs

To stay safe, cybercriminals produce fake pop-up windows and notifications urging users to download security software, update their current systems, or agree to agreements. Rogue programmes utilise scary messages to entice people to click on them. The application, for example, may deceive people into thinking it is an antivirus tool that removes all sorts of infection. Fraudware, rogue scanners, and rogue antivirus are all terms used to describe rogue security software. Antivirus Plus, Spy Sheriff, Total Secure 20XX, AdwarePunisher, Registry Cleaner, and WinAntivirus are real-world examples of rogue software.

Rogue software programmes, on the other hand, are malware. It’s a prevalent threat that targets computers on the desktop. Spam campaigns, black hat SEO, and malvertising are the most common infection vectors.

Harmful Mobile Applications

Hackers frequently reverse-engineer legitimate mobile applications in order to persuade unsuspecting consumers to install them. The goal of reverse engineering a respectable app is to lure in potential victims. Malicious cyber actors, for example, can reverse-engineer premium apps and distribute them as fully paid-for apps.

Many people who want to use cracked programmes may unintentionally install harmful apps, infecting their mobile devices. Attackers can employ malicious mobile applications to steal sensitive information, blackmail users, and gain unauthorised access to secure networks.

Grayware Attacks

Unwanted apps are used in grayware attacks to disturb computer users. Grayware programmes may cause a system to act abnormally through events such as high computing resource utilisation and lagging, rather than destroying the infected computer.

The term grayware was coined to describe the fine border that exists between legitimate software and viral programmes. Grayware may not be harmful, but it is critical to detect and remove it as soon as possible to avoid unfavourable system behaviour or downtime. Adware and spyware are examples of grayware.

Exploit Kits

Exploit kits help hackers take advantage of flaws in an application or computer software package. Exploiting security weaknesses enables entry points for various types of malware to be injected into a targeted system. Exploit kits are collections of code that can be used to spread malware, find vulnerabilities, and cause harm. They’re both frequent ways to carry out malware attacks. Drive-by assaults allow cybercriminals to quickly deploy them on a victim’s PC.

Logic Bomb

Slag code is another name for a logic bomb. It is made up of malicious code that has been added to a software programme. It is set to run after a specific event, such as logical conditions, time, or date.

Because the virus is configured to ‘explode’ if certain conditions are met, logic bomb makes supply-chain attacks easier. This implies it will go undetected until the attack is too late to halt.

Logic bombs inflict varying degrees of devastation. When inserting malicious code, attackers have an endless number of criteria to pick from. Hard-drive cleaning, file deletion, and sensitive data corruption are all possible consequences of logic bomb attacks.

Types of Malware Attacks: Droppers

Hackers utilise droppers, which are computer programmes that allow them to install various sorts of malware. A dropper is typically free of dangerous code, making it undetected by antivirus software. Once a malicious application is launched on the targeted machine, droppers can install it. It can also download new malware or updates for malware that has already been installed.

Polymorphic Engines

A mutation or mutating engine is another name for a polymorphic engine. It’s a piece of software that can turn one application into another with different code but the same functionality. Polymorphic engines are used by hackers to hide malware such as viruses and shellcodes from antivirus and antimalware scanners.

Scareware

Malware that manipulates users is known as scareware. It uses worry, the feeling of potential threats, or shock to deceive consumers into installing or purchasing undesired hazardous programmes.

It is classified alongside other types of malware, such as ransomware, rogue security software, and scam software. Victims are tricked or threatened with harm if they do not use it. Most of the time, the software that is recommended turns out to be malware.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.