HACKING 17 Most Dangerous Hacking Attacks (2017)
Chapter 1 – Adware / Spyware / Malware
First I will begin to tell you that most probably you will find Malware on Windows operating systems because most operating systems out there in a production environment are indeed some Windows based operating systems. When you think a hacker point of view, there is no sense to create malware for operating systems that only take 30% of the world’s operating systems. Instead, the ones that are most common should be infected.
There are many different types of Malware out there, so I will begin to explain some of them, however first let me list the most common types for your reference.
• Trojan Horse
• Logic bomb
As you see there are so many different types of Malware that are often difficult to identify what type of Malware you might get infected.
The reality is that some of the Malware might be working together and then it would be even harder to remove them from your computer.
An example would be that you get infected with a Trojan Horse. However, while you would get busy to remove it, in the meanwhile, there would be an additional Backdoor that would get installed on another machine automatically.
What happens in such situation is that you might believe that you have removed every malicious software from your PC, however in the meanwhile, another software would install itself that would re-infect your PC once again. Sometimes they might be working together, and once you would delete a certain malicious file, it would trigger another file to re-infect your PC.
You could potentially get infected by simply browsing the web, and clicking on something that shouldn’t, these might be an advert of some sort, but it can also come from a genuine website. Another form might be that you have received an e-mail and sometimes by opening the email without even clicking on anything can cause an installation of malware. Some of the e-mails would ask you to follow individual links to provide your opinion on a certain product or website, these all can trigger a malware that is very malicious.
From personal experience, I had once a malware that was an Adware, and pretty much any website I have opened, I kept on getting pop advertisements. Anytime I have deleted all the software that wasn’t from a genuine source, I have realized that after a while they all re-appeared with the same date of installation, even I didn’t even touch my computer.
Malware exists for the purpose of financial gain, and some of the types are written for the only purpose of stealing credit card details, usernames, and Passwords.
Advertising windows can also make money for hackers in the way of being an affiliate for a particular product, and they would get a percentage of you, or anyone would buy those simply from does who would use those links that are kept on popping up on your screen.
Some of these advertising pop-ups might be visible already on your screen even right after you would open a web browser, and that would be an adamant indication that you have some malware on your computer.
Malware would use many methods. However the most common are to look for known vulnerabilities of an older version of operating system or the previous version of the application.
To avoid malware from targeting your computer, you must make sure that you are always running the latest operating systems available. Additionally, the applications that you have on your PC all must always be up to date with the most recent upgrade.
This is easily recognized as your computer screen would be full of advertisements that literally would become so annoying that they would drive you crazy.
If you are aware of Adware by experienced these types of issues in the past, you would know that it’s one of the worst out there and the reason for that is so difficult to remove it that you just cannot be sure how to do so.
When you have an Adware on your computer, you would be able to recognize it by situations such as by only reading your favorite blog, then all of a sudden multiple ads would pop up on your screen. Mostly advertisements and those are not necessarily the ones that you would be interested, so as I mentioned they are very annoying.
The primary purpose could many other thinks. Other than advertising only, and some of the Adware-s might be working with other malware that is logging all the information that you are accessing, every website you visiting, possibly logging all the usernames and passwords too and all those information would be redirected and routed back to the hacker.
Regards to performance issues, it’s very common that multitasking such as opening multiple websites would slow down a bit, and often wouldn’t even work, and your CPU would be spiking and would be continuously above 70%.
In some situation, you could even experience that your machine is irresponsive and looks like it’s frozen. Some of the events could cause to damage your CPU (Central Processing Unit) so poorly that it could be critical.
In case you are unable to click on anything your best bet is to go ahead and open task manager, by using the combined keystrokes Ctrl + Alt + Delete and choose the Task Manager from there.
Once you open your Task Manager, first check the user's Tab, making sure there are no other users remotely connected. Then test the CPU utilization in the Performance window, and see If your CPU is only spiking sometimes or it’s continuously high.
Sure if you are multitasking you will have higher CPU utilization then if your computer is only in a standby mode, however, I am sure that you would suspect if there are significant performance issues with your machine. It also depends on what other software are running in the background and how much RAM you have on your computer, as well how much RAM Is currently used and so on.
In case you believe that your CPU is indeed highly utilized, your next move should be to go on the tab called: Processes, and begin to analyze by sorting them as the highest CPU used, and to achieve that just click on the tab CPU. Then you should be able to see what processes are using the most CPU on your computer.
Any of the processes that are not familiar with you can right click and select properties for further understanding of what Corporation has created them.
However, if you see that some them are just taking too much of your CPU, you should shut down the applications by selecting them then click on End Task. Another way to close unwanted processes is by right-clicking on them and select End Task. I can tell you from experience that often to shut down Adware processes this is the only way to End them before it would take down your computer completely.
Once when I have been multitasking by opening multiple websites, after few minutes on each site I had numerous advertisements started to pop up, then I have left my laptop up and running for so long that Adware process was spiking the CPU for so long that turned my Laptop off. When I have tried to turn it back on it was useless, so I had to install a new operating system to use that laptop again.
My last advice if you experience an Adware, and your computer is suffering from using too much of CPU, you should turn off your computer before it’s too late. Next, hopefully, you will be still able to turn back on then try to save all your important document to an external hard drive, and install a new operating system.
Unfortunately, there is no guaranty that your files will not be infected, especially if you had a rootkit format of malware installed previously, however, to save your computer’s CPU from potential damages new operating systems that I would recommend. You might be able to download an excellent anti-virus, such as Kaspersky of Norton, however often these Antivirus software wouldn’t help as much as you would expect. Also, you must understand that some form of Adware might have been written in another combined form. Once you would try to remove the malware, the malicious software would react by activating another piece of software that would pop up on your screen and then would pretend to be an Anti-Malware or some Anti-Virus that would be able to remove all the Adware from your computer. Now you have to be careful as this is another method that hackers would use, that is to make you pay for an Anti-virus that would not remove anything, in fact, while you would install this so called Anti-virus, what you would be doing is installing another malware that would continuously infect your computer.
Recommended Antivirus Software is:
This is another malware, yet this type of software is designed mainly to spy on computers.
To fully understand the reason why these types of Malware is so dangerous, I will begin saying the most common effects when dealing with Spyware.
First spyware could very likely be operating on your computer like Adware, meaning lots of advertisements. However, these types of ads would be popups that you might be interested in purchasing. What hackers would do is try to advertise an individual product to you from the third party with a hope of you as a victim would buy, and they would be getting an affiliate commission from each of those purchases. To narrow down your interest and understand your buying habits they would begin to spy on you, by monitoring your activities daily. For monitoring purposes, you would find that most Spywares have keyloggers built into them. Keyloggers log everything that you type into your computer even if you are not online. I mean everything, so let me give you an example:
Let's assume that you would write something like Hi John! Then you would backspace John and change it to Jack > it would be visible too. Keyloggers log every keystroke that you type, even if it’s a mistake that you correct without saving the file, and that would be online web browsing, emails, Facebook messages, or offline word document, notepad you name it.
All those details would be transferred to another software that would analyze and understand your interest and start to advertise certain products to you.
You would never realize that someone was logging all your information, as well you would never know that has been sold on the internet, it’s happening day and night all the time. To get spyware to your computer, you might be downloading a free software that has been written with the intention of installing spyware on computers.
The actual software could have been designed as a genuine free software, however, if the hackers would realize millions of people would download it, they would infect it with spyware and then re-upload it on a similar website. Victims then begin to download it, and all through the software would work just fine, however, while the installation takes place, additionally, you would be installing a spyware too, that would begin to act maliciously on your computer. The same method would apply for:
• free movies,
• free music,
• free pictures,
• free operating systems,
• free software and so on.
They all could have a hidden unwanted spyware inside, as hackers would know that millions of people are downloading such products all the time.
If you are good with math you should be able to understand; this would be a good business for them, of course, this is illegal. Therefore I would recommend you to stay away from unlawful activities.
This criminal activity is known as Affiliate fraud, and many large Cyber Criminal Organizations are operating as their primary income.
As you can see Malware types are dangerous as they would win against many victims one way or another. They would keep on advertising products and make money off you. If not they would try to manipulate you into buying fake antiviruses, they might do a Ransomware (more on this in a later chapter) with a locked screen and demand payment, or if you don’t want to participate, then they would just destroy your operating system, then your computer eventually.
Either way, the end goal is always financial gain, and believe me, malware is not designed for some people, instead as many as possible. Spyware itself is the one that specifically designed to go after your money, either your Credit Card or Bank account information so that it can be sold on the dark web. Worse is that hackers would use your Bank account information and take money out of your account.
Protection against Man in the Middle attack
To do something against a Man in the Middle if you have one or two computers, you should make sure that you have an excellent antivirus. Preferably one of those I have mentioned in Chapter 1, however, you must make sure that your Antivirus is up to date every day, perhaps configure it by having auto-updates. Therefore once the Anti-virus company would come up with the latest upgrade, you would have a chance for more protection against bad guys.