Five Ways You Could Get a Malware, Virus or Your Social Media Account Hacked

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    Most individuals who are well-versed with technology understand the standard forms of malware such as spyware, phishing scams, worms, viruses, Trojans and others. However, the advancement in technology has also made attackers improve their innovation in finding ways on how to get your information. As a result, there are new forms of malware that you may not be aware of.

    Mobile ransomware

    Ransomware in the computer world is not a new threat. However, it is now migrating to popular mobile platforms. Ransomware is malicious software that targets important files in your device and encrypts them, preventing you from accessing them. The hacker then sends you a message demanding for payment for them to decrypt the files. Ransomware can be introduced in your device by visiting an infected website and then it’s automatically downloaded to your phone or through downloading a malicious application. If your phone is affected and the attacker asks for a ransom, do not pay. Instead, have a habit of backing up your information regularly and only restore your device using the most recent backup.

    Social media scams and malware

    Grayware is a form of malware that does not do any physical damage to a user’s data like other types of malware, and it unveils itself more annoyingly like spyware or adware. Grayware has a high prevalence in social media using click bait to lure users to an enticing article which directs them to a website that asks for their details by filling a quick survey before proceeding to the media. The gathered information is sold to cybercriminals who use it to attempt to hack into the user’s accounts.

    Besides the increase of grayware in many social media platforms, there is a high possibility of contracting malware in most of the social networks. A good example is the breaking bad television show that had a Twitter scam. Links were shared luring viewers to download a leaked copy of an episode yet to be aired. If a user clicked on the shared link, they were directed to a page to download a file. The page would also direct users to another link to install special software that would allow them to watch the video. This link would send users to an affiliate program which is how the spammers made money. Although the scam seemed harmless to users, there are other instances where the downloaded files can be harmful malware. You should always be cautious when clicking unknown links and downloading unfamiliar files.

    Online gaming malware attacks

    Lately, there has been an increase in gaming malware in the media. This malware does not cost you money, but the time you dedicated to building your game character. An example is Twitch.tv website which used to stream live games. It was infiltrated by a bot in its chatroom luring viewers to use raffles. When a user clicked the link to enter the raffle, a java form displayed a fake raffle form. After filling the form, the malware would install itself on the user’s computer, target their Steam account and then erased the entire Steam inventory and account. The owners of the malware would then sell the users’ details on the Steam community. The need for money motivated this type of attack.

    Exploits

    An exploit is a malicious toolkit that searches through your computer to identify outdated applications. These kits look for vulnerabilities in different software intending to implant malware through the detected security loopholes. Exploits are injected to a victim when they visit a website with a malvertising. Malvertising can be found on any website whether legitimate or not and it uses online advertising by including a malicious code in a genuine advertisement. Yahoo was once a victim of exploits where users were directed to websites hosting these kits. You should ensure your software is always updated to reduce the chances of exploit kits.

    Browser extension malware and adware

    Browser extensions are popular add-ons used for many tasks when surfing the internet. However, many people do not know that these extensions could be stealing their information. Malicious extensions can either track the sites you visit or embed adware into those websites. Although this is not a huge concern on how it will affect the data in your computer, it is a huge privacy concern. Hackers can use the extensions to add click baits by adding decoy ads to websites then redirecting you to those sites. While it is a low-level threat, this form of malware is gradually developing into something more invasive.

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