10 Most Dangerous Virus & Malware Threats in 2022

Viruses and malware are constantly evolving, becoming more advanced and more dangerous by the second, making it extremely difficult to keep your data protected. Unless you’re properly protected (which most people aren’t), you’re at risk of becoming a victim of the latest computer virus threats and malware attacks.

Cybercriminals are relentless and will stop at nothing to hack your computer or phone to steal your most valuable data — including bank details, personal photos, and sensitive ID card information. This is why you must have a working antivirus installed on your PC, Mac, Android, or iPhone. I recommend Norton 360 for low-cost, secure protection against all cyber threats.

1. Clop Ransomware

Ransomware is malware which encrypts your files until you pay a ransom to the hackers. “Clop” is one of the latest and most dangerous ransomware threats. It’s a variant of the well-known CryptoMix ransomware, which frequently targets Windows users.

Before beginning the encryption process, the Clop ransomware blocks over 600 Windows processes and disables multiple Windows 10 applications, including Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials — leaving you with zero chance of protecting your data.

The Clop ransomware has evolved since its inception, now targeting entire networks — not just individual devices. Even the Maastricht University in the Netherlands became a victim of the Clop ransomware, with almost all Windows devices on the university’s network being encrypted and forced to pay a ransom.

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2. Fake Windows Updates (Hidden Ransomware)

Hackers are increasingly sending emails urging readers to install urgent Windows operating system updates. The emails trick readers into installing the “latest” Windows updates, which are actually ransomware “.exe” files in disguise.

The ransomware contained in these emails is known as “Cyborg”. It encrypts all your files and programs and demands ransom payment to decrypt files. Unfortunately, many email service providers and standard antivirus software are unable to detect and block these emails. Therefore, you should use an antivirus that provides good internet security and protects you from dangerous emails.

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3. Zeus Gameover

Zeus Gameover is part of the “Zeus” family of malware and viruses. This malware is a Trojan horse, a piece of malware disguised as something legitimate, which accesses sensitive information in your bank account and steals all of your money. The worst thing about this particular variant of the Zeus malware family is that it does not require a centralized “command and control” server to perform transactions  a common flaw in many cyberattacks that authorities can target . Instead, Zeus Gameover can bypass centralized servers and create independent servers to send sensitive information. Essentially, you cannot trace your stolen data.

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4. RaaS

“RaaS” – also known as “ransomware as a service” – is a growing industry in the underground hacking community. People who lack the knowledge to perform a sophisticated ransomware attack can pay to hire a professional hacker or a team of hackers to perform the attack for them.

The growth of the underground RaaS industry is worrying because it shows how easy it is to infect people with ransomware despite attackers having no experience designing or coding malware.

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5. News Malware Attacks

Cybercriminals often use breaking news and world events to target people with malware.

One example is hackers using the wave of COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreaks to target people with malware. Hackers send emails disguised as legitimate information about the outbreak. Readers are asked to click a link to learn more about the information, but the link contains malware that copies files to the device and steals personal information.

Research is currently focusing on the distribution of this malware in Japan. However, it will become a global problem during any notable type of outbreak.

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6. Fleeceware

Fleeceware continues to charge app users large sums of money even if users delete those apps. Recent research has revealed that more than 600 million Android users have downloaded “fleeceware” onto their devices over the past few years.

While polar software does not
 pose a significant security threat to a user’s device and data, it is still widespread and a shady practice by app developers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting users.

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7. IoT Device Attacks

As the popularity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices increases in 2022  things like smart speakers and video doorbells  hackers are looking to exploit these devices for valuable information. There are several reasons hackers target IoT devices. For one thing, most IoT devices don’t have enough storage space to install proper security measures. These devices often contain easily accessible data such as passwords and usernames, which can then be used by hackers to log into user accounts and steal valuable information such as banking credentials.

Hackers can also use internet-based cameras and microphones to spy on and communicate with people, including young children through smart baby monitors.

These devices can also act as vulnerabilities in an organization’s network, which means hackers can access entire systems through unsecured IoT devices and spread malware to other devices on the network.

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8. Social Engineering

Humans are potentially the weakest link in any security protocol. For this reason, cybercriminals are now turning to human psychology and deception to attempt to gain access to personal information.

The hacker first contacts a company or service provider and impersonates a specific person. They ask about the victim’s account and trick the customer support team into leaking sensitive information. They will then use that information improperly to access someone’s account and data, including payment details.

While not necessarily
 a type of malware, social engineering is an alarming trend as hackers don’t need to have any knowledge of coding or developing malware. Instead, the attacker just needs to be persuasive and allow human error and complacency to reward him with the data he needs.

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9. Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking malware is designed to use a person’s computing power to “mine” cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Mining requires an enormous amount of computing power to generate new cryptocurrencies. Therefore, hackers attempt to install cryptojacking malware on computers and mobile devices to facilitate the mining process, significantly slowing down the user’s device.

Although cryptojacking attacks have declined significantly in recent years, mainly due to the sharp decline in the value of cryptocurrencies, this trend remains a threat. Cryptocurrency prices will continue to rise through 2022, with Bitcoin rising more than $ 40,000 in January. Given the value of cryptocurrency, cryptojacking malware attacks will continue to be profitable for cybercriminals.

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10. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Attacks

As more tools become available to developers looking to program AI scripts and software, hackers can use the same technology to launch devastating cyber attacks.

 cybersecurity companies use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to fight malware, these technologies can also be used to hack devices and networks on a large scale.

Cyber ​​attacks
 can often cost cybercriminals a lot of time and resources. So, with the expansion of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, we can only expect hackers to develop highly sophisticated and destructive AI-based malware in 2022 and beyond.

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