Malware threats have existed since the early days of computer viruses. In the course of three decades, these malicious programs have evolved from harmless annoyances to powerful tools capable of causing serious damage. Here are ten of the most destructive malware threats in 2022.
1. Ransomware Clop
Ransomware is a virus that encrypts your files until you pay the attackers a ransom. Clop is among the most recent and deadly ransomware threats. It is a form of the well-known CryptoMix ransomware, which commonly targets Windows users. Clop ransomware disables various Windows 10 applications, including Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials, before beginning the encryption process, leaving you with little possibility of preserving data.
2. Windows Updates That Aren't Real (Hidden Ransomware)
Hackers send emails to their victims directing them to install critical Windows OS updates. The emails fool recipients into installing the latest Windows updates, which, in reality, are ransomware '.exe' files masquerading as Windows updates. Hackers use Cyborg to infect systems/networks through suspicious emails. Once infected, you must pay the hackers to regain control.
3. Zeus Gameover
Zeus Gameover is a destructive malware and virus of the Zeus family. This software is a Trojan malware that masquerades as something legitimate, gains access to your sensitive bank account information, and steals all your funds. This variant of Zeus malware does not require a centralized "command and control" server to execute operations. Zeus Gameover can build separate servers to transmit sensitive information rather than centralized servers. This means that authorities would be hard to track the stolen data.
4. Malware called Shlayer
This malware infects macOS systems and uses Flash updates and social engineering approaches to trick users into installing the malware. Initially, hackers launched this attack by exploiting a specific zero-day vulnerability. However, hackers are devising new ways to get this malware onto computers, many of which rely on social engineering techniques.
5. Agent Tesla
Agent Tesla is a powerful yet straightforward spyware program. Agent Tesla is a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) that steals passwords, tracks keystrokes, copies clipboard data, and steals photos from a victim's PC. The malware has grown in popularity recently, with over 6,000 criminals paying membership fees to license the software.
6. Attacks on IoT devices
Have you lately installed a smart doorbell or purchased smart speakers? Hackers are hunting for flaws in these gadgets to steal information. Hackers target IoT devices for various reasons. In many cases, IoT devices are so small (with so little storage) that manufacturers cannot accommodate proper security measures. IoT devices frequently store easily accessible data, such as passwords and usernames. Hackers use this information to gain access to accounts and steal more information.
Cryptojacking is a security problem that is peculiar to cryptocurrency. Crypto malware successfully saves hackers money by allowing them to "mine" cryptocurrency without purchasing expensive mining hardware or incurring high electricity costs. Cryptocurrencies are mined and then transmitted to crypto wallets controlled by malware controllers.
8. Social engineering
Hackers use social engineering to persuade individuals into disclosing a business or personal information through in-person or computer contacts. Although social engineering is not malware in and of itself, it offers hackers a means to propagate malware and can result in high-profile malware attacks.
Fleeceware is a mobile application with hidden, exorbitant subscription fees. It targets people with difficulty in uninstalling apps. Further, it latches on to users' devices and charges them hefty fees. According to recent research, more than 600 million Android users have unwittingly downloaded Fleeceware onto their handsets.
For various reasons, ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) has grown in popularity among ransomware gangs. The rise of RaaS demonstrates how simple it is for non-coders and non-techies to carry out ransomware assaults.
With the new year upon us, it is essential to be aware of the different types of malware and how they can impact your devices. Be sure to keep your operating system and software up to date, and practice good cyber hygiene to protect yourself from these threats.