More often than not, hackers are working around the clock to breach systems with a multitude of social engineering techniques and malware. Attackers are using malware to encrypt computer files and demand ransom to make them accessible again. People are typically the weakest link, and because an organization relies heavily on its human resources, due diligence should be exercised in cultivating responsible security-aware employees. The adversaries are adequately skilled at convincing the victims with a sense of urgency and trust in authority bound with arousal to gain quick favours or immense profit.

Botnet tracked down by French police

France’s c3N digital crime-fighting centre, through an alert by Avast Software company in August 2019, learnt of a botnet triggered by a private server which transmitted a virus called Retadup that infected more than 850,000 computers. Hundreds of thousands of Windows computers, in over 100 countries but mainly in Central and South America were compromised.

The officials reported that the virus was sent via an email offering easy money or erotic pictures and through infected USB drives. The control tower for the botnet network was tracked down and a replica server rendered the virus inactive on the infected computers.

Such schemes are on the rise today and most people are unfortunately awakened after harm. Well, what really matters is not what has or may happen but what you do to avert such moments of crisis. Here are key areas to note:

  • Use caution when opening emails with attachments. Before opening or risking to get into a malware, contact the sender directly and ask if they sent you a file.
  • Do not click on unknown links. You may first hover over hyperlinks to check their apparent destination.
  • Do not friend strangers and neither should you share your password with colleagues.
  • Change your password frequently to lessen the likelihood of a brute-force attack in case the attacker picks your email. Take note of email host URL.

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