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Protect Yourself From Cobalt Malware
About Cobalt Malware
Recently, a spam campaign was discovered that exploits vulnerability CVE-2017-11882. This vulnerability is exploited through the Cobalt Strike, a well known and flexible penetration testing tool.
While this vulnerability was patched by Microsoft on Dec 16, 2017, not all users have applied the latest patches, making their systems vulnerable to this email attack.
Spam campaigns such as these efficiently spread the Cobalt Malware infection, especially since some of the attacks are very accurately targeted, a technique known as spear phishing.
What is Cobalt Malware and how to avoid it?
The threat actors behind Cobalt disguised the most recent spam attack as an email coming from Visa, in regards to rule changes in Visa’s payWave service in Russia. The attachments present in the email were password protected archives, justified by a need for security. In fact, this is the best way to avoid anti-malware from extracting the files contained and scanning their content before they reach the computer. In most cases, once the user decides to extract the attached archive, the infection begins immediately and the hackers will see the desired results.
The Cobalt Malware Family usually launches attacks focused on exploiting security vulnerabilities in order to gain control of an infected computer system. Such malware can infect multiple types of devices, includin ATM machines and office or personal computers. Users who want to avoid losing data or infection with computer malware should practice safe browing habits, backup their important data routinely and use a trusted anti-malware software, such as Safebytes Anti-Malware.
How to identify an infection attempt
Cobalt malware attempts to infect computers by e-mail or by convincing users to run infected files, usually by using false claims. Cobalt Malware can also infect your PC when you visit infected websites. To identify a false e-mail, the user should first pay special attention to the e-mail headers. All official e-mails will come from an address that includes the official domain name of the company. To trick even those careful users, hackers will sometimes use typos or domain names that seem official but are in fact not.
Users should pay special attention to emails that appear official but are unexpected, especially when these emails require users’ personal data or urge the user to open password protected attachments.
Another important aspect is that users pay attention to pop-up messages from sites that do not allow the user to close the browser tab unless they click on this message. If you ever encounter this situation, the best thing to do is avoid clicking on such messages. Force-closing the browser, or even restarting the computer are preferable actions in such cases.
Let’s take a closer look at a potentially infected e-mail next…
How does Cobalt Malware spread?
Various versions of the Cobalt Malware Family usually infect the computer via email attachments or freeware software, such as video editors, download managers, PDF creators, streaming software or similar applications. The injected malware code then sets up the permissions so as to allow hackers some degree of control of the infected computer.
So far, we have seen emails with various topics, such as fake visa notifications targeting Russian users, political messages containing infected petitions, messages claiming to come from credit card companies, banks, and even employment offers, all containing a powershell script that executes as soon as the user opens the fake document.
We advise users to take all necessary precautions to protect their personal and work computers and to pay special attention when opening e-mail attachments or included links, no matter how legitimate the message appears to be. Users should always be certain about the origin of the email before opening attachments.
About Computer Viruses
A computer virus is a type of malicious software program (“malware”) that, when executed, replicates itself by modifying other computer programs and inserting malicious code. Viruses typically target the computer’s data files or the “boot” sector of the hard drive. When this replication is successful, the affected areas become “infected” with a computer virus.
Virus creators use social engineering tactics and exploit detailed knowledge of security vulnerabilities to infect systems and to spread computer viruses. The vast majority of viruses target systems running Microsoft Windows, using a variety of mechanisms to infect new hosts, and often using complex anti-detection/stealth strategies to evade antivirus software. Motives for creating viruses can include seeking profit (e.g., with ransomware), desire to send a political message, personal amusement, to demonstrate that a vulnerability exists in software, for sabotage and denial of service, or simply because they wish to explore cybersecurity issues, artificial life and evolutionary algorithms.
Steps for preventing potential virus attacks
Security experts have suggested precautionary measures for dealing with ransomware. Using software or other security policies to block known payloads from launching will help to prevent infection, and should be used in addition to manual prevention methods to help protect against all attacks. Keeping “offline” backups of data stored in locations inaccessible from any potentially infected computer, such as external storage drives or devices that do not have any access to any network (including the Internet), prevents them from being accessed by the ransomware. Installing security updates issued by software vendors can mitigate the vulnerabilities leveraged by certain strains to propagate. Other measures include cyber hygiene − exercising caution when opening e-mail attachments and links, network segmentation, and keeping critical computers isolated from networks.
The existence of any malware, especially viruses, on your computer could substantially diminish the browsing experience, monitor your internet activities that result in critical privacy concerns, create system stability issues and eventually cause your computer to slowdown or to a practically unusable condition.
Certain ransomware could be removed by just uninstalling the corresponding freeware or add-ons from the Add or Remove Programs in the Windows control panel. But, most hijacking codes are certainly not simple to eliminate manually, as they go deeper into the operating system. Rookie computer users should not attempt for the manual form of removal methods, as it needs comprehensive system knowledge to carry out fixes on the computer registry and HOSTS file.
Professionals always suggest users to eliminate any malware with an automatic removal tool, which is easier, safer and quicker than the manual removal technique. If you need to get rid of malware quickly and effectively, install the top-rated Anti-Malware tool SafeBytes Anti-Malware. And use a system optimizer, such as Total System Care, to eliminate all related files from the registry and repair browser issues.
An Overview of the Cobalt Malware Family
How To Get Rid Of Virus That Is Blocking Antivirus Downloads?
Malware can cause plenty of damage to your computer system. Some malware sits in between the computer and your internet connection and blocks some or all sites that you really want to check out. It would also block you from adding anything on your PC, particularly antivirus software. If you’re reading this, you probably have infected by a malware that prevents you from downloading a computer security program like Safebytes Anti-Malware. Although this sort of problem can be tougher to circumvent, there are a few actions you can take.
Install the anti-virus in Safe Mode
Safe Mode is actually a special, basic version of Windows in which just bare minimum services are loaded to prevent malware and also other problematic programs from loading. In the event the virus is set to load automatically when PC starts, shifting to this mode may well prevent it from doing so. To enter into Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking, press F8 while the system is booting up or run msconfig and locate the “Safe Boot” options under the “Boot” tab. Once you’re in Safe Mode, you can try to install your anti-malware software application without the hindrance of the virus. After installation, run the malware scanner to eliminate standard infections.
Download the security software in an alternate browser
Certain malware might target vulnerabilities of a specific web browser that obstruct the downloading process. If you seem to have a trojan attached to Internet Explorer, then switch over to an alternate internet browser with built-in security features, such as Firefox or Chrome, to download your preferred anti-malware program – Safebytes.
Install antivirus on a flash drive
Another approach is to download and transfer an anti-malware program from a clean computer to run a virus scan on the affected system. Abide by these steps to run the anti-virus on the infected computer system.
1) Download the anti-malware on a virus-free computer.
2) Insert the pen drive into the uninfected computer.
3) Double-click on the downloaded file to run the installation wizard.
4) Pick USB flash drive as the place when the wizard asks you exactly where you want to install the program. Follow the instructions to finish the installation process.
5) Now, transfer the thumb drive to the infected computer system.
6) Double-click the antivirus program EXE file on the flash drive.
7) Click on the “Scan” button to run a full system scan and remove viruses automatically.
If, after all of these measures, you’re still having issues with a possible infection, feel free to contact us with your query, through email or chat. If you’re unsure which solution to use, simply contact our toll-free number 1-844-377-4107 to speak to our technical team. Our experts can take you step-by-step through the malware removal process on the phone and fix your PC remotely.
Still can’t install Safebytes Anti-Malware? View other possible causes of installation issues.
How SafeBytes Anti-Malware Keep your Computer Malware Free
If you are looking to install anti-malware software for your computer, there are lots of tools in the market to consider nonetheless, you should not trust blindly to anyone, no matter whether it is a paid or free program. Some are worth your money, but many aren’t. You have to be careful not to choose the wrong product, particularly if you buy a paid application. In terms of commercial anti-malware application options, the majority of people opt for popular brands, such as SafeBytes, and they are very happy with it.
SafeBytes is a highly effective, real-time antivirus application that is created to assist the common computer end user in protecting their computer from malicious internet threats. This software program could easily identify, eliminate, and protect your PC from the latest malware intrusions including spyware, adware, trojan horses, ransomware, parasites, worms, PUPs, as well as other potentially harmful software programs.
There are lots of amazing features you will get with this security product. Here are some popular features present in this tool:
Real-time Active Protection: SafeBytes delivers complete and real time security for your PC. They are extremely effective in screening and getting rid of various threats because they’re continuously revised with new updates and alerts.
Optimum AntiMalware Protection: With a critically acclaimed anti-malware engine, SafeBytes offers multilayered protection which is made to catch and eliminate viruses and malware which are concealed deep inside your computer.
Quick Multi-threaded Scanning: Safebytes Anti-Malware, using its enhanced scanning engine, gives ultra fast scanning which will immediately target any active on-line threat.
Web Protection: SafeBytes checks and provides unique safety ranking to every site you visit and block access to web pages considered to be phishing sites, thus protecting you from identity theft, or known to contain malicious software.
Low CPU Usage: SafeBytes is well known for its minimal influence on computer resources and great detection rate of diverse threats. It operates quietly and efficiently in the background so you’re free to make use of your PC at full power all of the time.
24/7 Assistance: You can get totally free 24/7 technical support from their IT experts on any product queries or PC security concerns.
To sum it up, SafeBytes has developed a meaningful anti-malware solution which is aimed to protect you against all manner of malware. Malware problems can become a thing of the past when you put this software program to use. So if you’re searching for the very best malware removal application out there, and when you don’t mind paying out some dollars for it, go for SafeBytes Anti-Malware.