Hackers have a pretty dark sense of humor. Cybersecurity researchers detected a particularly nasty form of malware on the online version of The Guardian, a popular news outlet. Specifically, malware was embedded in their article titled “Cybercrime: Is it out of Control?” that claims cybercriminals are getting increasingly bold.
Cybercriminals pulled off this attack by inserting a malicious URL on the syndicated link below the article. The malware automatically redirects readers to the Angler Exploit Kit, a tool used by hackers to exploit any vulnerability on the reader’s device, such as outdated software including Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Java or Microsoft Silverlight.
Fortunately, as of today, The Guardian has removed the malicious content. However, while the malware was in effect, it could have enabled hackers to access your device and any personally identifiable information it stores. This can compromise your personal and financial information as well as any sensitive business documents you access on your device.
Even though these malware-infected links have been eliminated, it is critical to follow these steps to secure your identity.
What should you do?
- Keep Software Up to Date
Malware can only be a nuisance if it has a way in. Shut the door to cybersecurity threats by keeping operating systems, apps and other software up to date. Most updates fix recently discovered loopholes in a software’s code that allow hackers to take control of your data or device.
For more information on thwarting vulnerabilities, plus a brief operating system-specific cybersecurity guide, check out my blog post, Ignoring Software Updates Exposes You.
- Install and Run Anti-virus Software
Anti-virus software can help thwart malware, bugs and other cybersecurity threats — but keep in mind, it’s far from foolproof. This particular malware, similar to other Angler Exploit Kit attacks, can scan for anti-virus software and alter its behavior accordingly. So while having the software is crucial for safe online activities, it’s vital you still proceed with caution, and adhere to cybersecurity warnings, despite being protected.
- Remove any Malware from Device
If you believe your device was already impacted by this cybersecurity incident, please take the following steps to remove the malware from your device.
Guide: 10 Steps to Take When You Discover Malware on Your Computer.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.