Bot Malware: A Growing Security Threat

At the mention of “bots”, you probably think about the incredible AI chatbots that have taken the world by storm lately.

But this isn’t a feel-good news story. A “bot” refers to an automated application that is programmed to perform certain tasks, and they can be classified as good or bad. Bot malware is the bad kind, and it’s a disturbing new security risk that you need to be aware of and protect your business against.

The reason malware bots are especially dangerous is because they steal a user’s entire profile, which is a comprehensive summary of their identification information and settings. This could enable cybercriminals to get past robust security measures, such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Normally with MFA, if a hacker were to steal your username and password, they couldn’t get into your account because they wouldn’t have access to your other authentication method. However, if they used bot malware to access your complete profile, they can trick security systems by using your cookies and device setting to turn off MFA – and could then get into your account.

And once that profile is stolen, it’s easily sold for as little as $5 on the dark web.

To make things worse, it’s not only highly advanced cybercriminals that are using this technique – pretty much anyone can use bot malware to gain access to your information and use it for malicious purposes, such as phishing emails, scams, ransomware, and other cybercrimes.

There have been 26.6 million usernames and passwords stolen since 2018, giving cybercriminals access to accounts such as Microsoft, Google, and Facebook.

But there are things you can (and should!) do to protect your business and user profiles from bot malware:

  • Make sure your antivirus software is always running and updated.
  • Keep your login credentials safe by using a password manager, along with Multi-Factor Authentication.
  • Encrypt all files – that way, if a hacker were to access your profile, they wouldn’t be able to use your data.

Our cybersecurity experts help our clients with things like this every day. If you’d like help protecting your business as well, contact us.

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

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