warning signs of marlware in 2019

What are the Warning Signs of Malware in 2019?

The warning signs of malware have changed over the years as hackers try to slip by the latest anti-virus programs. The most recent threat is the use of malware hidden inside word documents attached to emails. This is why it is more important than ever to make sure that you only open email attachments from people you know.

As noted in the article from Barracuda Networks below, it is the user that is the biggest threat. Even the greatest cyber-security threat detection software and firewalls cannot protect against a user actively installing malicious code. And with the current attack utilizing .docx files as the transport medium, most anti-virus programs cannot stop the malware until after several hundred or even thousands of users report that this particular document is a threat.

Think about it this way, if your anti-virus program stopped allowing any .docx files from opening or downloaded from an email attachment, then how would you collaborate on a shared document (of course you could invest in a collaboration software but not everyone is as tech savvy).

But how do you know if you are already infected when there are so many types of malware out there?

  1. Slow running computer: If your computer suddenly runs much slower than normal you may be infected.
  2. Cybersecurity Health Warning: Your current anti-virus software may notify you if there is a problem with the health of your computer.
  3. Email responses from people you didn't email: Many malware programs use a script to have your email program send the same malware that infected your computer out to your entire mail list. If you get calls or email responses (usually out of office autoresponders) from people you did not actively send an email to then you may be infected.

If you have any of the above issues then you may want to immediately unplug your computer from the internet, or even better, just shut down completely. This will help to stop the spread of the malware from infecting friends, family, and co-workers.

The best solution is training and an active IT support system that can internally identify and stop malware from infecting multiple computers on the network. If you would like to know more about the warning signs of malware, contact your team at qnectU: 801-572-4000 or learn more at: https://qnectu.com/network-security/

Below is the original article:


There is a new Threat Spotlight released by Barracuda Networks.

One of the biggest trends in 2019 (where threats against businesses of all sizes are concerned) now takes the form of poisoned documents attached to emails.

The company analyzed more than 300,000 email samples collected over the past twelve months.

They discovered that the frequency of document-based malware attacks increased markedly during the first quarter of 2019, with nearly sixty percent of poisoned files taking the form of documents.

As Jonathan Tanner of Barracuda Networks put it:

"For the past couple of years, script files were a very popular attack method.  The percentage of these sort of files declined drastically, however, and was a significant source of the increase of documents as an infection method...

Documents are a natural evolution from script files, since the languages used are also the ones used for documents - namely VBScript and JavaScript.  The same attacks could be converted to the document-based ones with only slight modifications.  The script authors had already become very adept at obfuscation techniques, so these could contribute greatly to document-based malware where scripting is already more common and thus deeper inspection of the script itself is required."

The good news is that most antivirus software is quite good at detecting malicious files.  Of course, the weakest link in the equation isn't detection software, it's users.  In light of the evolving threat, education is more important than ever. Although to date, the majority of employees have been stubbornly resistant to educational measures designed to reduce the rate at which employees will click on and open documents received from un-trusted or even unknown sources.

As a business owner, that will likely be one of your great challenges in the year ahead.  The more wary you can make your employees about opening files from people they don't know, the safer your network is bound to be.

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