Different Ways Used By Cyber Criminals To Spread Malware
These days, cyber security incidents like phishing, spam emails, malware, website intrusion and exploits are making news headlines. Cybercriminals leave no stone unturned to access user’s data for financial gain.
Today in this article we will explain to you some common techniques used to spread an infection, be it crypto ransomware, data breach, crypto jacking or simple adware they use any sort of malware to infect a machine.
So, let’s get to the point and know ways used by cyber criminals to spread malware.
1. Crowdsourcing Platform
Popularly known as micro job sites, are used by many people in diverse ways. The idea behind such sites is to post an assignment and get a worker to complete the task by paying a small amount. What cyber criminals does is, this they post an assignment like “Download and install the file”, with an explanation. You are then expected to test the software on different platforms, which pretty much explains why you need to launch it.
When a user downloads and installs the file, his machine gets infected by a malware. Cybercriminals adopt this technique to target a large number of people. As the file is in zip format the malware easily escapes the radar of antivirus applications and virus scanning sites. Due to this, on an average 10 users get hooked. This is the easiest and one of the most common method.
2. Social Network Spam
Spam means uninvited, inappropriate messages sent in bulk over the Internet. Earlier emails were used to send out spam messages, but with social media gaining popularity, cybercriminals have started to use it. They create fake accounts as it is the key to social spamming. Using this fake account, they send bulk messages, spread malicious links, post fraudulent reviews to build trust, share inappropriate content and follow other malicious techniques. The most common amongst all the techniques followed is mentioned below:
Users usually, fall for such tricks and they click on the link given in the post to get more details, without even realizing that they are installing a malware.
3. Lucrative scheme
Cybercriminals create a run-of-the-mill profile of a businessman, enter all the details neatly and try to get as many likes and comments as possible. The tactic is to portray as a genuine person who has been earning a lot by working for few hours. To prove the same, he posts some screenshots of the earning made by doing a small work.
The catch is, cybercriminals add certain code to spread infection, to get more traffic, or they show the ad multiple times so that individual clicks on it once and they make profit from it.
4. YouTube spam
This tactic when implemented rightly can get most clicks and download. The trick is a video named make easy money online is posted on which different ways to earn money are mentioned. When someone posts a comment or dislikes it, a small code gets downloaded thus infecting the machine.
This way cybercriminals get most downloads and victims.
5. Fake Website
This one is the most effective method of spreading malware. As it is easy to create a website using WordPress and to download or buy a malicious script. Once the website is created, bad guys purchase advertisement from some channel and then target the right audience to get most installs to spread their malicious code. The only drawback is they need to for the advertising but it is nothing in front of the download one can make.
6. Unidentified Chat Rooms
Most of us are aware about anonymous chat rooms are and what they are used for. They are the most profitable system to spread malware. Usually the people who look for indecent chats fall victim for such gimmick. What cybercriminals do is they send a link in the chat that says it will open photos but what happens is when the individual clicks on these links the malicious code gets installed on his machine.
7. Spreading via Online Games
These types of infections are spread via games usually played by kids. When they search for a game to play online what cybercriminals do is they provide a small file that needs to be downloaded to play game. This file has a malware code in it, when it is downloaded and installed, machine gets infected and all the user data is compromised.
8. Dating sites
These days it is the most common and popular method adopted by cybercriminals. What they do is they create a profile and start interacting with individuals to build trust. Once that is setup, they send a compressed attachment with fake photos, when the file is uncompressed, malware disguised as a picture gets downloaded and steals user’s information.
9. Playing with someone’s emotions
Cybercriminals create a trustworthy looking account with profile photo of a young girl. The profile is kept dormant for some weeks, after that bad guys target middle aged married men, interact with them and then they reach out to their wives saying their husband is hanging out with them. To prove it they attach a video, which once downloaded helps them get get access to victim’s machine from which they collect user data. Most victims fall for this trick.
These methods are widely used by cybercriminals to spread infections. You may have come across to some of them and most of us have even downloaded such stuff without even realizing what they are falling for. Besides these, there are many other techniques adopted by cyber criminals. The only way to stay protected from such gimmicks is to be aware of what’s going around you. You should always have an eye of suspicion for anything received from unknown sources. Never trust on anyone and anything that you get for free and someone asks you to download.