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10 Most Dangerous New Malware and Security Threats in 2021

New Malware

Cyberthreats including malware, viruses, and other security hazards are constantly evolving and becoming more dangerous and harder to detect. This makes it quite difficult to keep your data and information protected nowadays. Unless you are sure that you are absolutely protected, which is wishful thinking, you remain at risk of attacks by the latest strains of malware and security threats.

Types of Malwares and What They Do

The term “malware” is derived from the two words: malicious and software. Malware is one of the biggest security threats on the internet today. It is any piece of hostile and intrusive software program designed with the intent to gain unauthorized access to your device to compromise its functions, bypass access controls, steal data, and cause harm to it and its applications.

A malware entity is often spread via vulnerable software, file sharing, infected websites, or email attachment downloads.

To understand and combat malware entities, it’s vital to get your classifications right. The different types of malwares include:

  • Viruses
  • Worms
  • Spyware
  • Adware
  • Scam and phishing
  • Ransomware
  • Bots
  • Trojan horse
  • Rootkits
  • Keyloggers

In this article, we identify 10 of the most dangerous malware and security threats in 2021. We believe that by getting to know these notorious threats, you can take appropriate preventive measures.

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1. COVID-19

While the world is suffering a global pandemic, cybercriminals exploit this issue to send malware attacks. They send out emails with malicious links or attachments or links that are disguised to be providing legitimate or sensitive information about the pandemic. Oblivious of the attack, victims are prompted to click on the link provided to get more information only to realize they’ve downloaded malicious files.

2. Clop Ransomware

Ransomware has highly evolved and now leads the list of the world’s most dangerous new cyberthreats. Clop ransomware is one of the latest, deadliest ransomware threats today. Security researchers have identified Clop ransomware to be a variant of the famous CryptoMix ransomware, which often targets Windows users. Before beginning the encryption in your PC, Clop ransomware disables multiple Windows applications, including Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender, and blocks numerous Windows processes.

3. Fake Updates (Fake Windows Updates)

This is another ransomware that comes as a disguised OS update. Hackers (cybercriminals) have changed their tactics as they are now sending fake emails that trick users into installing the “latest or updated” Windows OS updates, which in truth, is a disguised ransomware “.exe.” file. This ransomware, once installed, encrypts all programs and files then demands you to pay a ransom to decrypt the files.

4. Gameover Zeus

Gameover Zeus is a dangerous malware that is part of the “Zeus” malware family and targets your financial information. It is a trojan that targets your sensitive bank details and uses them to steal all your funds. Furthermore, Gameover Zeus can bypass centralized servers and create its own independent servers to send sensitive information.

5. Ransomware as a Service (RaaS)

RaaS is a small but growing industry in the hacking and cybercrime community. Those who still do not know RaaS can hire a “professional hacker” or team to attack for them. RaaS has gained popularity with a “high success rate” as ransomware, gaining more actors to take advantage of its user-friendliness. It is even attracting those without experience in malware coding.

6. Fleeceware

Fleeceware is a common but not so fierce malware. Research has shown that an excess of 600 million Android users have downloaded Fleeceware knowingly or unknowingly on their devices. Users are unaware that Fleeceware charges them large amounts of money over time, even after deleting the apps.

7. Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking is a security threat specific to cryptocurrencies. It is malware designed to use a victim’s computing power to “mine” cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. They use and exhaust a device’s computing resources to depletion. This malware is a serious security threat to crypto traders.

8. Social Engineering

Apart from sophistication in technology, hackers are increasing their sophistication in psychology. Hackers have identified humans as the weakest link in cybersecurity. Social engineers are “hackers who exploit human psychology to access a user’s personal information.” The hackers use various media including social media and phone calls. They trick victims into offering them access to sensitive information which they then use to scam the victim.

9. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Attacks

This age of technology has seen a rise in more tools that allow developers to program AI scripts and software. Some developers are hackers who use these same technologies to conduct devastating cyberattacks. Although cybersecurity companies use machine learning and AI algorithms to help combat malware attacks, AI-powered technologies can still be exploited to massively hack devices and networks.

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10. IoT Device Attacks

There is a surge in the usage of IoT devices in homes and businesses in 2021. However, most of these IoT devices have no strong security features. The security flaws make the IoT devices easy to compromise. Hackers have taken note of the security flaws and are looking to hijack and exploit these devices by sneaking in malware entities to help gather valuable information.

Malware Removal Guide

You need to do whatever you can to protect your device, data, and information against these malware and security threats.

To remove any malware strains in your PC:

  • Start your PC in Safe Mode
  • Delete all its associated registry keys and files
  • Remove it from the startup list
  • Unregister all its corresponding DLLs (in addition, you should restore missing DLLs should they be corrupted by the malware)
  • Delete all infected files and folders in your PC
  • Restart your PC in Normal Mode
  • After restarting your PC, use anti-malware software to scan and clean your PC for all remaining traces of the malware

Does Anti-Malware Work?

Of course, it is possible to use basic anti-malware programs–but only for prevention. However, the truth is that not all anti-malware programs can offer protection against these new strains of malware and security threats.

To protect yourself from malware, what you can do is:

  • Constantly educate yourself.
  • Always keep your operating system up to date.
  • Use strong perimeter security, e.g., firewalls, to block malware from being uploaded to your systems.
  • Always keep your anti-malware software up to date.
  • Do not open attachments from unknown sources.
  • Use custom anti-phishing solutions to help you detect falsified emails that may contain dangerous links from phishers.
  • Back up your most important files.

Conclusion

Keeping yourself up to date with the latest malware strains is a good solution to prevent cyberattacks. There are websites where you can get some handy PC tricks and tips that can protect you from malware entities.

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