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What is Ransomware & How to Prevent it?

Hackers are looking for a new and easier way to make money by entering on other people's system and ransomware is one of the tools they use to make money by locking the computer of people and organization. In my previous article, I discussed cryptojacking malware and why it is a big threat to information security. On that article, you can read how and why bad guys are injecting code on people's computer to make money from that. Ransomware is another major threat to cyberspace that I would like to discuss this article.

What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a software that is designed to block access to any system, files or operating system until we pay a certain amount to the attacker. Most of the time the attacker will encrypt the files of the computer and they will provide the key to decrypt only after paying the amount they are demanding. Most of the ransomware attack will give very limited time to the victim to pay the demanded amount and if they fail to decrypt it within the ti…

Triton: A Malware That can Kill Human

When we think of malware we think of a program that is designed to harm a computer device, servers or network. But these days bad guys are creating malware targetting the critical infrastructure which can deliberately kill people. Malware that is targetting critical infrastructure and human damage is not new in the cyberspace as there were few other cases before like Stuxnet but nowadays such malware is increasing at an alarming rate.

Recently one malware was detected by an experienced cyber responder Julian Gutmanis which could pose a serious threat to human life. The malware was found on the server of the petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia in the summer of 2017. The initial vector of malware infection is still unknown but it could be the result of a phishing attack. Hacker managed to deploy their malicious program on the plant's safety instrumented system so that they could have full control of the safety system of the plant. Hackers were able to control the plant's system …

NSA Releases Open Source Software Reverse Engineering Tool called Ghidra

Research Directorate of National Security Agency (NSA) has released an Open Source Software Reverse Engineering tool called Ghidra. This software is very useful for a software developer and security researcher to analyze the source code of various programs. Especially this software can be helpful to find the malicious code inside a malware and can be used to gather information on how malware is functioning. This software has a lot of features, some of the most important features include the ability to disassembly, assembly, decompilation, graphing and scripting. It also supports plugin so one can develop their own plug-in using Java or Python.

Currently, it is available for Windows, Mac OS & Linux and it only supports 64bit version of OS. Ghidra doesn't use traditional installation file to install the program, it comes with a compressed file and it can be extracted on any file directory to run the program.

Ghidra requires Java Runtime and Development Kit on the path to run the…

Five Ways to Get Rid of Cryptojacking Malware

Cryptojacking is a growing threat in 2018 and there are several ways to prevent this threat. Few of the methods to prevent this emerging online threat are discussed below.


Installing browsing extension
Most of the crypto mining malware works from the web browser so we can stop that malware by installing a browser extension. There are few browser extensions like ublock origin & Malwarebytes that will help to block any cryptojacking scripts. If we have these extensions installed on the browser, they will automatically stop those scripts from running on the browser which will prevent the browser from running the mining code. Those extensions are available for free and they regularly update their signature. Since they will automatically filter the mining codes we don’t need to check them manually. Therefore, installing a proper extension will help to get rid of cryptojacking malware.

Installing only trusted applications
Another big source of crypto mining malware is untrusted application…

How to Identify Cryptojacking Malware?

There are several ways to identify the hidden crypto mining malware on our computer. We can either detect and identify that malware manually or by using the third-party antivirus or antimalware tools. These are the few ways to identify the cryptojacking malware on our computer.

Monitoring CPU usage
If we see unusual CPU usage behavior then our computer might be infected with cryptojacking malware. Usually, there won’t be much CPU usage when the computer is idle. We only see a spike in CPU usage when we are using heavy programs, so if we see high CPU usage on our computer when we are not using any programs on the computer then this might be the result of cryptojacking malware. We can manually monitor the CPU usage of our computer when we open any web browser or open any website. If the CPU usage is increasing when we open any website then there might be cryptojacking code on the website, we can then block those websites from being loaded on our computer. If we see high CPU usage when o…

What is Cryptojacking and Why is it Increasing?

Cryptojacking is an online threat where a hacker uses the machine's resources of the victim to mine online currencies called cryptocurrency without their consent. Cryptojacking is one of the growing online security threat of 2018. According to the report of McAfee Labs, there is 629 percent growth in cryptojacking threat in 2018 Q1. Cryptojacking will hijack the processing power of the computer and mobile devices and uses it for mining. Mining cryptocurrency will need dedicated hardware with good CPU or GPU so that it can calculate the hash required for mining. Setting up this hardware and making it run is costly. Therefore, for cryptojacking hackers will use many infected computers for the hash calculation so that they don't need to use their own hardware and resources for the mining. According to Check Point Software Technologies, 40 percent of the top 10 malware are crypto mining malware.
We can see many websites hosting crypto mining code for their profit and it is estima…

How is Mobile Technology & IoT Devices Affecting IT Security

Technology has changed the way we do business and it has become an essential part of modern commerce. Technology has become the need of every business. Not only they are using technology for marketing their product and providing the better support they are also expanding their presence to the digital world with e-commerce. For communication, business is using latest technologies like VoIP which provide more functionality to the organization and is more easier and faster than traditional communication system. Since every employee needs a computer for their job in the organization, some companies are also promoting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) on their organization, as it can reduce the cost of buying a new device and increase efficiency since employee are working on their own machine.
Although these new technologies have made the job easier and faster they possess several threats to the business. We can see smart IoT devices being installed on the organization to monitor the environme…