3 startling malware developments

Heads up: Three insidious malware programs could wreak havoc on your systems if you or your users aren’t ready for them. 

Some are remakes of old strains. Others are new and ready to make a big impression.

Watch out for:

1. Gameover Zeus

If this name looks familiar, that’s because it’s not new. This password-stealing malware has been around for a while. And IT has obviously gotten wise to its tricks, blocking the .exe file.

Rather than give up, though, cyberattackers have pulled a trick. They’ve re-released it with a different encrytpion as a .enc file instead. Now it will slip through detection from companies that block .exe files for users, according to Malcovery.

If this catches on, expect to see more attackers try this disguised kind of attack.

And in the meantime, check your own systems to see if there’s been any unusual activity involving this file extension.

2. Prisonlocker and Powerlocker

Crytolocker is apparently getting out of hand for many companies. This malware infects computers, encrypts all the files on them and charges a ransom of a few hundred  dollars for the key to unlock them. If you don’t pay up when a clock hits zero, they remain locked forever and useless.

And now there’s two other offshoots to worry about.

Prisonlocker and Powerlocker work in the same way as Cryptolocker, but are:

  • available for sale online for as little as $100
  • are able to lock out the task manager, registry editor and other administrative functions, and
  • can disable the Windows and Escape keys on the keyboard.
Keep your eye out for these programs which are generally distributed via phishing scams.

3. ‘The Mask’

This one is tough to judge, because it could be at least partially hype. But Kaspersky Labs has a solid track record with malware discoveries, so it could prove to be big.

Kaspersky has teased the discovery of a very advanced malware threat ahead of its Security Analyst Summit 2014 next week. According to their reports, the new strain, named “The Mask”:

  • leverages high-end exploits using a rarely used language
  • has been found in 27 countries so far
  • includes a bootkit and a rootkit, and
  • is available in Mac and Linux.


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