In today’s cybersecurity atmosphere, there is no way for any organization to assume that “we are not hacked”. The attack surface is very wide in Windows, Office, Java, Flash Player, and even the Intel processors have hardware security bugs. Basically, 2018 was a horrible year for cybersecurity because it proved how indefensible is the architecture that we all depend on in business, in our homes and in our personal lives. Add to that all of these devices we use on our daily basis are not independent devices but are connected to the Internet mostly all the time, if not all the time.
Hackers continue to improve their tools, their knowledge, and understanding of the weaknesses of their target systems. This is a whole different ball game compared to the incidents of malware infections and data breaches decades ago, when they were only after 15-minutes of fame, there is money to be made from their operations nowadays.“Attackers are fighting back. They have no desire to leave the environment. And they don’t just want to rob you and those along with your supply chain. In the parlance of the dark web, attackers these days want to ‘own’ your entire system,” explained Tom Kellermann, Carbon Black’s Chief Cybersecurity Officer.
Chaining vulnerability attacks are now used to pull-off sophisticated cyber attacks, even ethical hackers do this in their own competition event like the bi-yearly Pwn2Own contest. Carbon Black shows that even virus authors simplify their virus development, instead of building modules in their malware to perform a simple task, it now uses the native Windows APIs in order to accomplish it instead. With this method, they are able to shrink their malware to occupy less memory and able to lessen the chances of detection.
Actions to be taken when a PC is infected with a virus
It is important to prevent damage from spreading. Let’s look at the basic measures, including easily overlooked points:
- Elimination by anti-virus software
It is effective when checking whether it is infected with a virus, but it is no longer effective if malware already penetrated the system. With regard to virus software, there are many people who dislike paying for re-image services as time spent on that is burdensome to productivity.
- External hard disk and USB memory
It is recommended that you do not use an external recording device infected with a virus in an individual’s private environment because it is often infected with a virus by connecting it to the PC of the organization. If there is important data, check the virus, isolate the file only, format the external storage device and reuse it.
- Initialize OS and clean install
If the virus infected PC does not contain particularly important data, it is best to initialize the OS, clean install and update to the latest version. In order to improve the condition of the infection, it is effective to think about the situation after making your PC up to date.
- Beware of illegal sites and suspicious emails
Recently, more and more sites have been able to illegally browse various content “free” of charge. Let’s stop using those services as those are inherently insecure. Not only can you be infected with a virus by using an illegal site, but you will also be able to contribute to a malicious third party who makes money from cyber attacks. For suspicious emails, there are a variety of things such as making money, tempt you to lure sweet words in order to get personal information they can use for nefarious purposes.