Malware isn’t just being used for financial gain anymore…
The idea of nation-state attackers is quite frightening. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with these attackers, it the term given to the criminals who use malware as a tool to create material harm to the life and safety of individuals, compared to the financially driven criminals who are using malware such as ransomware to extort funds from their victims.
Nation-state attackers are able to infiltrate critical systems and alter the ability to provide power, water and transportation to certain geographical areas. What happens when the transportation systems in a major metropolis goes down? Or an entire power grid is corrupted by malware? What would you do? These are the threats that our world is facing.
Malware used as ransomware has been proven to be lucrative, which is why it’s growing at an epidemic rate. It didn’t take long for hackers to understand the magnitude in which they could alter systems to impact the lives and safety of citizens.
Nation-state attackers are not a new concept. Last year, it was believed that the Black Energy Group shut down the power to 225,000 people in Ukraine. Another form of malware was believed to be found in a European energy company last week that would not only obtain the data within the system, but also open a back door to the hackers. This malware is incredibly sophisticated, as it would initiate during the early stages of a reboot, prior to the implementation of many security software programs. The malware would also remove itself if it was sandboxed by a security software, to avoid detection. According to IT News, this malware has the potential to shut down the entire power grid.
This is exactly why we stress the importance of continuous patch management, cyber security training and preventative security software with application whitelisting technology.
Hackers are increasing the sophistication of their methods. Protect yourselves.