Today's malware authors are always looking for new ways to invade networks and evade detection. In this never-ending game of cat-and-mouse, cybersecurity pros need to step up their vigilance against evasive malware tactics and be more proactive about data protection.
What To Watch In The Stealth Malware Landscape
Malware authors are always tweaking and altering their malicious code to disguise and even hide their intentions entirely. Some of the most pervasive and hardest-to-detect forms of malware threatening networks today include ghostware, two-faced malware and malware hidden in compressed files. Here’s a primer on each.
Ghostware is software that enters a network silently, completes its targeted mission then disappears without leaving any tell-tale signs of compromise behind. In many cases, an organization invaded by ghostware may never even know it was attacked, which makes it all the more difficult to recover from the loss of data breach.
Two-faced malware has emerged in response to the growing pervasiveness of network security sandboxes that run incoming programs in safe, isolated environments to observe any suspicious behaviors before releasing them into the larger network. To get around this, two-faced malware performs benign processes while being scrutinized in the security sandbox; then triggers malicious actions when let out into the network. The danger is that once the sandbox flags code as safe and reports that to the threat intelligence system, it can no longer be detected in future attacks.
Malware Hidden in Compressed Files
Yet another tactic utilized by modern malware authors involves hiding malicious code in compressed files. These compressed files are typically saved in formats other than ZIP, which are unfamiliar to most cybersecurity solutions. As a result, the files are able to slip past the network's security system without being scanned and analyzed properly.
How Ready Is Your Network To Fend Off Stealth Malware?
Preventing breaches by masked and concealed malware requires constant surveillance. It also calls for the deployment of cybersecurity solutions, including security sandboxes, that have advanced pattern recognition capabilities to identify the thousands of new and emerging disguises used in modern malware attacks. If you’re unsure of your network's ability to stand up to stealth malware, consider using the free, Test Your Metal tool from Fortinet. Secure and fast, it determines how well your network's security measures can detect a sample virus in different formats including compressed, non-ZIP files.
Malware authors are constantly working for new opportunities to outsmart security systems and worm their way into the networks of unsuspecting victims. In this environment, you have no choice but to be vigilant and creative in your approach to network security. It also helps to have insight from forward-looking systems integrators like Resilient Intelligent Networks that are in the business of staying up on the latest and emerging threats, and helping organizations develop strategies and deploy technologies to thwart them.
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