We live in times where we are surrounded by all kinds of electronic devices connected to the network. We talk about the mobile phone, the tablet, the digital television decoder or our Smart TV, among others. However, despite the wide variety of existing devices, most of the computer attacks focus on the usual computers . It forces us to take action in this regard, in order to avoid problems with our data and our network security.
An aspect that gains even more importance when we discover that many of the attacks that our teams suffer have to do with inactive and hacker group internationally, which is an additional problem in terms of security. Because in this case it is no longer about attacks destined to steal data from our team, but rather that these attacks are intended to focus the bases for massive attacks in the future with determined geostrategic objectives. So, let’s see some of the most famous attacks we have had to suffer in recent months as well as how to protect ourselves.
How big or powerful does a virus have to be to be able to throw away the systems of Telefónica, the main Spanish telecommunications company? Well, the answer is in the WannaCry virus. A virus capable of encrypting all the vital information of the equipment through an internal system, which can only be deactivated with a payment or redemption in bitcoins, which guarantees the anonymity of said payment for the recipient.
Because of its operation, it is true that we are not talking about the first virus that is dedicated to hijacking our computer and that penetrates deeply into the system to take full control of it. But it is true that the intensity of the attack that he executed in his day shows us that it is not just any virus.
In any case, according to the experts consulted, in the case of Telefónica, many of their employees’ computers used computers with versions of Windows already unsupported, such as Vista or Windows 7, which makes them vulnerable to certain known attacks. Not having support from Microsoft. Something that should not happen in a company of this level but, as we could see at the time, happens.
We travel now in the time to open of the year 2018. The United States, together with the United Kingdom and France, execute a military intervention in Syria to “restore” normalcy in the area. In parallel, there is an attempt at global hacking aimed at all types of devices both in the United States and in the United Kingdom, with special interest in personal computers. An attack developed, theoretically, by Russian forces with which to sneak into as many teams as possible and try to launch a global attack or affect the government networks of these countries.
However, although this attack seems more like the plot of a spy movie, we are not talking about something new. Massive attacks and attempts to capture networks and all types of computers to focus them against other equipment is already commonplace. A process that is executed both by attackers without political ties, just for fun or for money, as in cases like this one in which there are political links in the process.
Returning to the present, within this year 2019, there are several specialized media that point to Fileless malware as the biggest threat to our computer in this year. This malware has a considerable difference compared to other known viruses or malwares, such as the fact that it does not need a specific file to run, but is directly hosted in the RAM of our computer, where it is properly hidden.
This approach makes it almost impossible for the virus to be detected by conventional antivirus programs, although at least it has the advantage that once the computer is turned off, the virus disappears. However, this is valid for a home personal computer but not for those that are always on, such as an ATM, servers and other equipment that, by their characteristics, are always in use.
Thus, we are faced with a very dangerous virus because of its capacity for execution and its difficult cleaning, so that the professionals of the sector have before them a notable challenge when seeking a remedy to this problem.
How to protect ourselves
At this point you may wonder how you can protect your computer against such attacks. One of the most efficient solutions for this is to have an updated and reliable antivirus, which is able to detect the possible threats and eliminate them before they can affect your personal computer.
It is also key to keep updated everything that may pose a security risk, such as the operating system. Many of today’s viruses exploit the vulnerabilities of Windows systems, mainly to try to sneak into our system, steal data and destroy systems. Therefore, having your properly updated version of Windows is key, without forgetting how important it is to have a legal version of Windows, especially considering how little a license costs today
Everything we have commented on for Windows, as far as updates are concerned, we should also keep it in mind for the rest of the applications we use every day, as other tools such as browsers, office suites and other software can also be a gateway for intruders to our team. Therefore, keeping all the software on our computer updated is key to reducing those risks.
As a last tip, you can not miss a little common sense. Many times we find programs, applications and extensions that promise us to do “miraculous” things like accessing outside emails or browsing paid websites without paying. All these programs are usually disguised viruses, waiting for a unsuspecting to fall into their networks. So it does not hurt to ignore these “wonderful applications” and avoid installing them on our computer.