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10 Most Dangerous New Malware And Security Threats In 2020

2020-04-28 by Cathy Trimidal

Malware entities and viruses are constantly evolving. They are becoming more dangerous and harder to detect that it’s already quite hard to keep your information and data protected. Unless you are a hundred percent sure that you are protected, then you are at risk of falling as a victim of the latest strains of malware and viruses. 

 

In this post, we look at 10 of the most dangerous malware and security threats of the year. By getting to know them, you can take appropriate preventive measures. 

 

1. Fake Updates 

Cybercriminals nowadays are sending fake emails that tell users to install an OS update. These emails lure users into installing the most recent update, which in truth is a ransomware program in disguise. 

 

This ransomware, once installed, encrypts your files and demands a ransom payment in exchange for decrypting the files. 

 

The sad news is that most email service providers and anti-malware software programs are unable to detect and filter these suspicious emails. However, you can always trust a reliable antivirus program that promises internet security and protection from dangerous emails. 

 

2. Clop Ransomware 

The Clop ransomware is among the latest and most dangerous ransomware threats today. It is said to be a variant of the CryptoMix ransomware, which attacks Windows users. 

 

Before it starts the encryption process, this ransomware blocks more than 600 Windows processes. It also disables a number of Windows applications, including Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender. With this setup, you have no chance of protecting your data. 

 

3. Raas 

Also called Ransomware as a Service, Raas is a thriving industry in the cybercrime community. Those who are not knowledgeable about how this ransomware works may need to hire a team of hackers to perform an attack. 

 

Because of the popularity and the success rate of this ransomware entity, more and more bad actors are taking advantage of it. In fact, those without experience in coding malware are becoming more invested in this already. 

 

4. Social Engineering 

In the cybersecurity industry, humans are definitely the weakest link. This is why many hackers and cybercriminals are using human psychology to deceive and gain access to a user’s personal information. 

 

Hackers usually begin by contacting someone from a reputable service provider or company. They will then begin asking questions about a victim’s account and trick the person from the support team into providing whatever sensitive information they can get. Once they have it, they will use that information to access a person’s personal data. 

 

5. Cryptojacking 

The cryptojacking security threat is designed to use a victim’s device’s computing power to mine cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin.  

 

When it comes to cryptomining, a huge amount of computing power may be required. This is why attackers install cryptojacking malware programs on the devices of victims without them knowing. Once infected, a user will notice a significant drop in his device’s computing resources. 

 

Though cryptojacking has significantly dropped in the past years due to the drop in cryptocurrency value, this malware is still considered a serious threat.  

 

6. Zeus Gameover 

As the name suggests, the Zeus Gameover malware belongs to the Zeus family of viruses. This Trojan accesses your financial details to steal all your funds. 

 

The worst thing about the Zeus Gameover malware is that it does not require a centralized server to complete any transactions. Rather, it creates its own independent server that sends sensitive data. 

 

7. Current Global Events 

While the world suffers a global pandemic, it’s sad to know that cybercriminals use the issue to send malware attacks. 

 

One prominent example that cybercriminals use is the COVID-19 outbreak. Hackers today send out emails that disguise to provide legitimate information about the pandemic. Victims are often prompted to click on a link to get more information. Once clicked, the link downloads malicious files that steal your personal information. 

 

According to research, this malware is currently spreading in Japan. And if not looked into, it may become a quick worldwide issue. 

 

8. AI Attacks 

More and more tools are being introduced today to help developers program AI-based software. And unfortunately, hackers have taken notice. That is why they are very eager to use the same technology to send devastating cyberattacks. 

 

While cybersecurity companies are already using AI and machine learning algorithms to fight these attacks, AI-powered devices may still be exploited to hack networks. 

 

9. Fleeceware 

Research has found that more than 600 million Android users have already downloaded Fleeceware on their devices. What users don’t know is that the malware charges users with large amounts of money over time. 

 

Though Fleeceware isn’t really considered a serious security threat to a user’s data and device, it is still very popular because app developers may demand lots of cash from unsuspecting victims. 

 

10. IoT Device Attacks 

IoT devices continue to gain traction in 2020. These devices could be anything like video doorbells and smart speakers.  

 

Now, why would hackers target these devices? One possible reason is that these devices don’t have that much storage to install security apps. And most likely, these devices contain easy-to-access data that can be used to steal sensitive information, such as bank account details. 

 

In addition, these devices may also be considered weak points of an organization. This means hackers can gain access to a wider network of systems through unsecured IoT devices. 

 

Protect Your Device Against These Malware and Security Threats 

You know, your bank account information, photos, and private messages are all priceless. So, you have to do whatever you can to defend your device from the above threats. 

 

Of course, you can use a basic anti-malware program for prevention. But the truth is not all anti-malware programs offer protection against new malware strains. 

 

What you can do is constantly educate yourself. Visit websites like Software Tested to know some handy PC tips and tricks that can protect you from malware entities. You can also make it a habit to delete junk files on your PC to ensure no threat disguises as a system file. 

 

Do you know other new malware strains that may hit hard this 2020? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Author

Cathy Trimidal

A Computer Engineer by degree and a writer by profession, Cathy Trimidal writes for Software Tested. For years now, she has contributed articles focusing on the trends in IT, VPN, web apps, SEO, and digital marketing. Although she spends most of her days living in a virtual realm, she still finds time to satisfy her infinite list of interests.

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