Malware's New Frontier

Malware’s New Frontier

Malware battles are being fought on several different battlefields, including workstations, servers, mobile devices, and networks. Attackers, in their constant attempts to compromise and mangle systems and devices, are forever probing and testing, looking for weak spots wherever they may exist. Two new platforms attracting increased attacker interest are the Facebook social network and Apple Inc.'s high-profile iPhone.

Facebook: Social Network with a Bull's-Eye?

Renowned as a top social-networking site, Facebook has more than 60 million active users, a handful of whom are on intent on causing digital mayhem. A 2006 study by Web security firm ScanSafe found that, on average, up to 1 in 600 profile pages on social-networking sites host some form of malware.

The first widely publicized Facebook malware event occurred in February 2006, when a couple of users took advantage of an XSS (cross-site scripting) profile page vulnerability to create a rapidly propagating yet relatively benign worm. The suspect code loaded a special file on user profiles that made pages resemble profiles from archrival MySpace.com. Perhaps figuring that it was a good idea to embrace its enemies, Facebook eventually hired the attackers. Yet since then, Facebook has found itself confronting a series of embarrassing security violations.

In April 2006, a user — since banned from Facebook — embedded code in his profile that loaded an external page containing a Flash game and streaming video, an exercise that exposed a potential security flaw in Facebook's technology. A little more than a year later, in July 2007, another user uncovered an XSS hole that could be used to insert JavaScript into user profiles for the purpose of creating a worm.

In January 2008, several Internet-security organizations alerted clients to what might be the most serious threat to Facebook users yet. The Secret Crush application, distributed through Facebook, is little more than a destructive "social worm." The code spreads by sending Facebook users a note that a friend has a crush on them. The user is then asked to download an application that leads to an adware module. Facebook has since blocked Secret Crush for violation of the site's terms of service, but many security experts continue to worry about Facebook's vulnerability to future cyber risks and attacks.

iPhone Trojan Horse Appears

In the world of malware targets, platforms don't get any better than the innovative and widely publicized iPhone. An attacker who can figure out a way of bringing an iPhone to its digital knees can be assured of receiving widespread recognition.

When Apple introduced its iPhone in January 2007, many security experts warned that the platform would be a tempting target for attackers and that it would be only a matter of time before the first piece of iPhone-targeted malware appeared. These predictions were fulfilled in January 2008. That's when an application that masked itself as an update to the popular Erica's Utilities application and bore the label "113 prep" appeared.

Fortunately, to the relief of just about everyone, the malware didn't pose a big risk to iPhone users. The Trojan horse specifically targeted users who modified their iPhones to install third-party applications, leaving run-of-the-mill iPhone users in the clear. Still, as with Facebook, many security analysts believe that the iPhone Trojan horse is only the first of what may turn out to be a series of iPhone malware outbreaks.

Whether you use Facebook, an iPhone, or any other Internet-linked service or device, remember to keep your antivirus software up-to-date at all times. And as always, don't install any unnecessary applications.

Who needs cybersecurity software?

Cyber security is super essential for everybody in today's internet-driven world. Businesses and individuals all are susceptible to plenteous malicious attacks that can collect your details, hold your files for money, and lead to identity fraud. 

Sadly, simply steering clear of fraudulent/ suspicious websites is no longer sufficient to protect yourself. Scammers and attackers have become more intelligent, using unsecured WiFi connections, convincing phishing schemes, and even corporate data to gather your data. Thus, you now have cybersecurity platforms for cyber threat detection and response as comprehensive as the threats themselves. 

The best part about it is that there's no shortage of robust Cybersecurity systems to keep you secure. Choosing the appropriate cybersecurity software for your needs can be challenging, but we’re here to assist. 

How does Cybersecurity work?

Cybersecurity software is more than a solo tool like antivirus. Instead, it's a collection of tools that work altogether for cyber threats and malware protection. The best cybersecurity software consists of:

  1. Firewall – to avoid viruses and malware from entering your system
  2. Anti-malware and antivirus – to spot, quarantine, and remove malicious software
  3. Password Manager – it helps you set a unique password and save it for all of your accounts
  4. VPN (Virtual private network) – it allows you to safely connect to Public WiFi Signals
  5. Dark web monitoring – this tool alerts you when somebody tries to steal your personal information or email address
  6. Data breach notifications – it lets you know when a company that you shop at has security issues
  7. Credit monitoring – this tool notifies you about suspicious activity in your finances, and that can happen because of identity theft. 

How to handle security threats?

We have the best cybersecurity systems available in the market, using different methods to identify and handle malicious attacks.

Firstly, firewall and antivirus tools check each website, application, and downloaded files for malware with the help of a database of threats and cyber risks assembled by cybersecurity experts. If a potential threatening piece of code is identified, the malware is eliminated or quarantined, and you're immediately notified.

Secondly, a system admin can create a scheduled scan of the whole system to search for a malicious program that may have entered through the cracks. This permits your cybersecurity tools to watch out for malware and viruses, no matter where they are hidden, and discard them from the computer.

Thirdly, cybersecurity tools that scan the dark web or get alerts from your credit whenever your data has been carried off and put to use by the scammers/attackers. This warning lets you cancel your credit cards, freeze them or implement other measures to secure yourself against fraud.

You can compare cybersecurity software vendors and their pricing plans to choose the best for your business or your personal security. Experts suggest choosing a paid platform to leverage additional features such as file encryption, cloud backup, parental controls, and connecting multiple devices.