As the world continues to evolve and move forward in its security measures, so does the evolution of hacking. What may be a perfect combination for your business’ security one day can dramatically change to the next with malware threats. Employees may innocently open a file that can compromise entire systems of data within minutes, leading to stolen documents, and furthermore, a huge cleanup for your company.
What are the current malware threats and how are they working against you?
Most recently, a Trojan out of Japan has incorporated multiple malware threats into one lethal virus for a computer system. While this virus, called “Shifu”, has attacked Japanese banking systems principally since April, it is pertinent for security experts to monitor and prepare for an attack such as this across the world.
This particular Trojan is a combination of several years’ worth of malware, making it one of the most powerful hacking devices in the world today. Because of its unique capabilities, it is able to go through more information and data undetected than any other Trojan of its kind.
What begins as a simple file opening leads to stolen routing numbers, credit card numbers, and other personal information of banking systems affected.
One of the most alarming aspects of the Shifu Trojan is its capabilities to “sleep” inside of a computer registry system for long periods of time. Its initial file may be downloaded and deleted to an extent, but the virus itself can switch between “sleeping” and operating as coded by a hacker.
While living inside of a system’s registry, the Trojan monitors and detects applications being used, saves information from those applications into its own memory, and therefore can more easily steal information from those programs as it changes.
As more and more of the computer’s current data is corrupted, the Shifu malware digs through stagnant data relating to bank accounts and credit card numbers that may not be active currently, but are open to charges.
Usernames and passwords are some of the most targeted information by this banking threat. As Shifu begins to dig through banking data, it is capable of disabling anti-virus tools, and cover up its own tracks of ever being on your machine.
Even more disturbingly, the Trojan not only disables your personal anti-virus, but acts as its own protection and can block other outside malware from entering your system so it can go further in hacking information.
The Shifu Trojan is one example of current malware threats.
One of the most deceiving and simple attacks is to every day users is through social media. The marketing of analytics services and simple cookies tracks what websites you visit, and even items you have purchased online.
What can be a simple click on an advertisement can turn into an instant download of malware, quickly infiltrating personal files linked to business accounts.
As Shifu itself is a mix of new malware and old malware systems, its speed of infection and gestation period, if you will, leads to a whole new series of crimes within the internet security community. As new malware programs grow off of the old, other regions in the world could have banking systems compromised.
Soon, banking information may not be the only target of this fast-growing and ever-changing malware. Recent victims of malware hacks in the past few years have included pharmaceutical, education, and construction industries. Last year, an increasing amount of malware was found in retail POS (point-of-sale) computers, such as the cases with Target and Home Depot.
So, if malware is becoming more evolved, what is the state of your organizations' security efforts? IT Security performs comprehensive reviews, audits, and testing to fully design the solutions to best fit your organization. As your security threats are constantly changing, so should your level of protection against those threats. Don't delay, get started today.
Albert E. Whale is the President and Chief Security Officer for IT Security, Inc, a security consulting company focused on the Security of the Applications, Cloud, Internet & Network based resources. IT Security, Inc. works with organizations to assess and resolve issues with their enterprises, focusing on getting security done right.