2017 Presents More Sophisticated Malware. Is Your Antivirus Software Picking It Up?

By October 25, 2017 Security
new malicious software in 2017 that's hard to detect

Internet Security Firm Akouto Offers Businesses & Consumers Advice On How To Best Protect Their Computers From Viruses.

You’re probably thinking that just because your antivirus software turns up no results when you performed a full scan on your computer, that you are free from any form of malware. This may not be the case.

This Canadian based software security firm reports that there is a sharp increase in new types of malicious software capable of getting past even the top leading Internet Security software available. They report that the majority of the malicious attacks are aimed at stealing your bank details and enabling hackers to be authorised for payment withdrawals.

Known as the Heodo Banking Trojan, this malware was first detected in March 2017. The Blackhat developers who designed the malware engineered it to steal banking logon information as well as passwords to enable them to transfer money from the victims to their own bank accounts.

Most commonly, a user gets infected when they click a link or a PDF that is usually disguised as some type of relevant or important document, such as a payment receipt or postal notification. Since this malware is received in an email but appears to be from one of your contacts, targets are more likely to click on the email and expose themselves.

Malware That Spreads Through Your Contact List


If the victim does happen to click on one of the links in the email, the Trojan go through the victim’s address book and copies all other email addresses from the contact list. This enables the malware to send messages that look like they come from the victim, therefore, spreading the malware quickly.

If the infected machine is connected to a LAN or Local Area Network, it may also infiltrate connected computers by exporting a vulnerability in how the devices share information on the network.

Dominic Chorafakis, Akouto’s founder, mentioned that the developers of this malware took the Trojan Horse code and combined it with a worm to build a hybrid capable of self-replicating, stealing information and mutating itself.

Furthermore, he mentioned that this malware utilises its Trojan DNA to gather important information from the victims that are sent back to the hackers via a client and server relationship.

Also, utilising its worm-like DNA it digs through local networks spreading the virus to other machines, stealing more sensitive info as well as spreading even further than ever.

This Virus Is Difficult To Detect

Unfortunately, due to it being a hybrid and quite rare in the wild so to speak, this virus is hard to detect. Mostly due to a feature called a crypto that protects it from most well-known antivirus and antimalware products. Being under the radar, it embeds itself within other legitimate programs on the infected machine, establishing links back via the client to servers, enabling it to download further instructions, all whilst making mutated clones of itself on the infected Windows or Mac computer. Ensure you have the right protection against these kinds of threat by comparing antivirus that’s right for you. 

Most of the researcher Akouto’s work is aimed at helping enterprise and business clients, but he mentioned that this mutant malicious software also presents a massive threat to consumer users.

He went on further to say, “The vast majority of software infiltrations are not selective at all. These factors often aim to infect as many systems as possible with the ultimate goal of holding the user’s files for ransom, encrypting them, stealing credit card information, bank information, or transferring the PC secretly into a zombie-like state.”

Also, he mentioned that even though this particular malicious software was able to slip past top antivirus software undetected, all computer users are recommended to install one of the best antivirus programs and keep them up to date in order to remain protected. Whilst this particular strain of malicious software is rare, as more computers around the world become infected with the virus, leading antivirus software developers like Norton, AVG or Trend Micro will include these particular threats in their definitions list. This will result in less computer being vulnerable to the virus over time.

Consumers can also take measures to protect themselves by learning all about internet threats and how to avoid being victims. He suggests researching which internet security products are right for you and keeping them all up to date. Combine all this with a backup strategy to avoid costly data recovery situations and windows reset annoyances.

In 2017, it’s not a case of if your computer becomes infected, but when. Educating yourself on antivirus software as well as employing preventative measures, such as regular laptop repair checkups, is the best way to remain safe in an ever-changing cyber world.

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