Ransomware, trojans, and Remote Access Tools (RATs) are only a few of the various threats lingering on the web.  As recently as this week, a security group called Check Point Research found that a Facebook group had been spreading trojans and other malware across its platform since 2017.   Avoiding these threats can be difficult, but with the right protections in place, you can keep your business' technology safe.

Different Kinds of Malware and What to Do About Them

Hackers and cyber-criminals employ a variety of unique software applications that they use to infect computers across the web.

  • Ransomware - This is a form of virus that has recently been making the rounds across the web for some years.  This virus infects a computer and encrypts all of the data it finds on said machine.  Once the data is encrypted, no user on the machine will be able to access it.  Normally a message will be saved on the desktop instructing the user to pay a ransom to the hacker in order to get the passkey to release the files.  This is normally accompanied by a threat by the hacker that the data will be permanently deleted after a set amount of time passes.We recommend never paying the ransom, or doing so only as an absolute last resort if you are desperate to get whatever data you lost back.  After all, there is no guarantee that paying the ransom will even result in getting your data back.The resolution we recommend to defeat ransomware attacks is to maintain a safe and secure backup solution.  Provided you have a secure backup that is clean of any possible infection, you can wipe the computers data and restore from the backup.
  • Trojans - Trojan viruses act as hidden gateways into your computer.  It is this virus's job to allow access for other infectious software to enter through and onto your computer.  These viruses are notoriously difficult to track down, and without proper anti-virus software, they can be nearly impossible to fully remove.  Trojan viruses are often deployed through spoofed web links, or embedded in email in the form of an attachment or even an image.  Employing a strong anti-virus solution with your computer is a good way of preventing these viruses from getting onto your computer.
  • Remote Access Tools - These types of infections are what hackers use to remotely access part, or all, of your computer.  Obviously, this exposes anything you may be doing, any data you have, and control of your workstation over to the hacker who infected you.  These can be difficult to spot as well, and. sometimes, these infections may masquerade as legitimate software.  With proper anti-virus software, however, you should be able to defend your computer from much of these infections.
  • Malware/Adware - These types of infections change the behavior of your computer in various ways.  Your browser's homepage may be changed to one that is set up to look like another website, but really, is only serving you advertisements and pop-ups.  You may get pop-up advertisements showing up on your desktop.  Your computer will also start to become sluggish and performance will degrade.  Often times, if left untreated, more of this type of malware will get onto your computer.  You can pick these types of infections up from infected website ads or bad URL's that take you to a website that infects your computer.  Running a strong anti-virus software, keeping your computer up-to-date, and not clicking advertisements on the web are the best ways to avoid these types of viruses.

These viruses are an unfortunate, but avoidable, part of the technology we use everyday.  As professional IT technicians, we have seen and dealt with all of the above mentioned infectious software.  You can take the steps to avoid these types of infections through proper anti-virus software, avoiding pop-ups and bad URL's on the web, and with a secure backup solution in place.

Natural Networks is a fully managed IT services company. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to protect you and your business from the dangers online, contact us today!