Evasive Malware: The Invisible Threat
Evasive malware is the spy of the hacking world. It’s the enemy you can’t see, blending into your computer’s memory undetected. However, when it strikes, it packs a punch.
What makes evasive malware different?
Most malware acts as soon as it enters the system. For example, ransomware encrypts files on a computer as soon as it is downloaded. Once all files are encrypted, the ransomware blocks all files and displays a message on the computer screen asking for a sum of money to restore the system. Without any additional defenses, antivirus software can easily detect the ransomware’s behavior patterns. The antivirus software catches the ransomware and prevents any harm from coming to the computer. However, this all changes with one line of code.
Where regular malware is a game of chance, evasive malware works like a ninja. Before launching any attacks, it takes a look at its environment. Should antivirus or other security tools be running, evasive malware simply doesn’t run. During this sleeper stage, the malware behaves like any other program. Ransomware with an evasive malware script will stop encrypting files and instead bounce meaningless lines of code to look busy. This is enough to trick most antivirus software into thinking the malware is instead Notepad.exe, a harmless file on the computer. Once the sweep is complete and the environment is more malware-friendly, the evasive malware turns on. From here, it acts like traditional malware, wreaking havoc on your systems.
How do I prevent evasive malware?
As malware becomes more advanced, so too does malware protection. Keeping your antivirus software and endpoint protection up to date ensures your system can protect against new and more complex strains of evasive malware. Some solutions even trick evasive malware into thinking it’s always in a hostile environment. When this happens, the malware stays in sleep mode, unable to cause any harm to your system.
While antivirus and endpoint protections can protect against most evasive malware attacks, there is always the chance that a new strain of these attacks will slip through. Because of this possibility, we highly recommend a well-managed data backup as a failsafe for these new strains.
The best way to prevent malware is through careful watch of your systems. However, it’s getting tougher to spot and catch these new (and more dangerous) strains. Thankfully, solutions are out there. Keep your systems up to date and utilize your full arsenal of security measures to catch these spies red-handed.