How to avoid document-based malware attacks


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Some 59% of all malicious recordsdata detected within the first quarter of 2019 had been paperwork, in keeping with a Barracuda Networks report. This is find out how to defend your self towards this rising menace.

How the malware panorama is evolving
We nonetheless have a large variety of hacks and malware coming in by means of phishing and older “methods,” says Franc Artes, Architect of Safety Enterprise at Cisco.

Doc-based malware is on the rise, accounting for 59% of all malicious recordsdata detected between January and April 2019, in keeping with a latest Barracuda Networks report. That is a rise of 18% in comparison with the primary quarter of 2018, a development which must be alarming to cybersecurity professionals.

Doc-based malware sometimes comes within the type of an e-mail attachment that, when opened, mechanically runs software program hidden within the file or runs a script that pulls it from a distant web site, the latter making it a lot more durable to detect since there is no malware code included within the doc when it is downloaded.

SEE: 10 methods to attenuate fileless malware infections (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The tough factor about document-based malware, the report mentioned, is that it adjustments the best way cybersecurity professionals want to consider malware. The times of definition-based safety is over, Barracuda mentioned; it is as much as safety groups to “take into consideration malware detection by asking ‘What makes one thing malicious?’ somewhat than ‘How do I detect issues I do know are malicious?'”

A brand new era of malware assaults

Practically half (48%) of all malicious recordsdata detected previously 12 months had been some type of doc, the report mentioned.

Malicious paperwork are half of a bigger transformation in the best way malware that targets companies is distributed: As a substitute of simply launching assaults at random, trendy cybercriminals are very intentional about their work.

Reconnoitering a goal, crafting customized assaults, figuring out the correct targets, and launching the assault (presumably by way of a malicious doc) is only the start of the method, adopted by all of the harm an attacker can do as soon as inside a community.

Due to the sophistication of latest assaults, the report mentioned, cybersecurity professionals want to alter how they defend their networks.

The report factors out that the complicated, layered nature of contemporary cyberattacks requires a fancy, layered safety strategy. Barracuda recommends 4 safety strategies in response to document-based malware:

  1. Use blacklists: Spammers attacking a corporation by way of malware-infected e-mail attachments are more and more utilizing their very own infrastructure, which implies blacklisting their IPs ought to stop repeat assaults from the identical supply.
  2. Implement a spam and phishing detection system: spam/phishing filter can detect suspicious components of a message or attachment that the typical consumer will miss. Human error accounts for round half of safety incidents; filter can reduce that quantity down by screening out messages earlier than they get to recipients.
  3. Do not neglect malware detection: Antivirus software program that makes use of each static and dynamic evaluation can decide up on a doc making an attempt to run an executable or obtain one thing from the net, neither of which must be accomplished by a doc. Static evaluation can even detect makes an attempt to obfuscate code and might acknowledge a doc as malicious.
  4. Arrange your firewall to detect malware: Some firewalls will be configured to acknowledge malicious site visitors, which might cease a malware doc from downloading code or speaking with its command and management server. This can be a last-ditch protection, however should not be discounted—it could actually stop plenty of complications and make discovering the contaminated machine easy.

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Picture: iStockphoto/Natali_Mis

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