Posted on December 24, 2018 at 7:05 PM
Despite the fact that the malware advances rapidly, and new threats are becoming more stealthy and have greater functionalities, it is still possible that computers may report them, although not in a traditional way. Another way of reporting such issues might simply come down to mysterious messages of different files being downloaded, or finishing downloading.
If the download was not initiated or approved by the user, it might be malicious content. With new malware appearing pretty much all the time, it can be difficult to catalog all examples of their attacks or infiltration methods. It is often possible that users might not be able to find any information about a potential threat, outside of online forums where other users have posted similar concerns.
Recently, researchers reported that social networks are once again being used for providing malware with instructions on what to do. One example of this is a hacker’s choice to use internet memes on Twitter to hide instructions for malware behavior. The malware would receive said instructions upon infecting a computer and would steal files and information, and send it to a hacker-controlled server.
Researchers have noted that hacking attacks have seen massive growth in the last several years. While 2017 was mostly dominated by ransomware attacks, 2018 was best-known for DDoS attacks. However, every other form of attack is still very much alive, and users must keep their devices protected at all times. This is especially important as malware can evolve and find other ways to complete its task at any time.
How to protect a computer from malware?
According to security researchers, the best course of action, in the case of users noticing strange messages, is to use anti-malware software for scanning their computer for malicious files. A software often recommended in these situations is Microsoft’s MSRT (Malicious Software Removal Tool). The tool is free, and it can be found here. Another free tool that may be useful for this purpose is MalwareBytes, which can be downloaded from here.
After performing scans, users are advised to remove all items that the scan reports, reboot their device, and try running the scan again, to check if the problem is resolved. If strange messages persist even after doing this, users should contact local tech for help.
Other precautions that might protect users’ devices from malicious infections include regular updates to antivirus and other software. While antivirus can be used for performing regular scans of computers, other software updates might contain fixes for newly-discovered issues that hackers might exploit if left untreated.
It is also important not to open emails that may seem suspicious, especially if said emails contain broken English, if they sound urgent, and if they seem too generalized. Emails like these are most likely random attempts by hackers to install malware on as many computers as possible.