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Nuclear Power Plants Are The Next Easy Target Of Hackers All Over The World

 
cyber attack nuclear power plant hacker

Image: NTI Nuclear Security Index

Today, we are at a crossroads on nuclear security and the emerging threats in the form of cyber attacks and nuclear terrorism. Bur, our nuclear plants have failed to add necessary security measures to handle the cyber threats and potential security breaches. Based upon the two latest security reports, we have tried to assess the present day scenario which is too vulnerable.

 
The nuclear power plants around the world are living in a state of denial about the risks of possible cyber attacks. These highly sensitive facilities have failed to install the necessary security measures to protect their computer networks. Apart from this, 20 countries with nuclear fuel stockpile don’t have any government regulations to install some minimum security steps.

 

Such sorry state of our nuclear power plants was recently revealed in two different studies conducted by Security Operations Center (SOC) and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). Let’s tell you more about the situation:

“Security measures employed by Security Operations Center (SOC) aren’t enough”

The first report is an audit of Security Operations Center for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Studying the affairs between 2013 and 2014, it was revealed that during this period the cyber attacks against US nuclear power plants grew with 18%. In the 18-page assessment report, it was highlighted that the computer networks used by NRC pose a real threat due to inadequate security measure. The NRC’s general inspector added that the measures deployed aren’t “optimized to protect the agency’s network in the current cyber threat environment.”

In the past, the sophistication of cyber attacks against nuclear power plants have increased. The hackers have attempted to gain unauthorized access using social engineering, code injection techniques, and other attempts.

It was reported that SOC, the in-charge of security at NRC, does not meet the agency needs and lacks predictive analysis to keep its networks protected.

“20 countries scored a disappointing 0 against theft and sabotage in nuclear power plants”

The second study, conducted by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), outlines the worldwide situation that reveals the gloomy condition of nuclear power plants. In this study, 47 countries were included — out of these, 24 had weapon-usable nuclear materials and 23 had nuclear facilities but they didn’t produce usable material.

Surprisingly, only 13 countries scored a perfect score of 4 when their preparations against a cyber attack (sabotage and theft) were examined. These countries were Australia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

On the other hand, 20 countries scored a disappointing 0 against theft and sabotage. These countries were Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, North Korea, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, and Uzbekistan.

The Nuclear Threat Initiative publishes this annual index that examines the nuclear security all around the work. The agency also mentions that in the past few years many countries have improved their security measures but it isn’t enough.

Take a look at this year’s NTI security index scores below:nuclear-power-plants-from-all-over-the-world-are-vulnerable-to-cyberattacks-nti-report

Nuclear power plants are highly sensitive facilities that need the extra layer of security measures. Employing an army of security personnel for security purposes will be useless if these plants are vulnerable to hacking attacks. These reports suggest that immediate steps must be taken regarding this issue in everybody’s best interests.

How To Maximize Battery Life On Windows 10

Windows is known for poor battery life — irrespective of the Windows version you are using. People often wonder how to maximize battery life on Windows 10. Finally, we decided that we write an article over a guide to maximize the Windows 10 battery life:

How to Maximize the Windows 10 battery life?
Windows 10 battery saver mode:

Windows 10 comes with two power modes: Battery saver mode and the default mode. Well, The battery saver mode surely stops your Windows from sucking your power. It reduces the battery usage as much as 20 percent on normal mode.
Uninstall the unnecessary apps:

Windows 10 comes with a plethora of apps. I, personally, do not use News app, Store and many other. These apps keep sucking the battery life in the background. So, it is better to uninstall these apps.
Uninstall the unnecessary programs:

To maximize the battery life on Windows 10, it is recommended that you uninstall the unnecessary programs. Sometimes, these programs keep on updating in the background which you are not aware of. It does not only consumes your internet data but also, it keeps on taking the toll on the battery life.
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Other Settings:

You do not need to leave Wi-Fi or Bluetooth turned on always. They keep on working and keep on sucking the battery out of your PC. So while watching a movie, or when you leave your PC idle for some time, turn off these settings, they are surely gonna save some battery life on Windows 10.
Update Windows While Charging:

Well, you do not have much control over Windows update on Windows 10. There are though certain ways to stop the Windows 10 upgrade but Windows keeps on popping out unnecessary notifications, almost bugging you to the core of your heart to update it. Well, you never know how long the Windows 10 takes. Sometimes, updating Windows 10 takes until eternity. It is advised that you keep your PC on charge while updating the Windows.

Reduce the volume:

We often leave the volume higher even though we are just typing or doing some work which do not actually need the volume to be up. Moreover, most of the laptops, these days, come with powerful speaker inbuilt. Though these speakers give you the soothing sound but they also suck the hell out of your battery life. So reduce the volume level on your Windows 10 while chatting or typing or doing something which does not need the higher volume.

Unplug Unnecessary Peripherals:

We often leave our mobile phones connected to the USB cables to our PC. Even though they consume the smallest amount of battery out of your PC but still it counts. So you might want to discontinue your mobile on being kept on charging. So keep a watch over USB cables, external mouse, Bluetooth-powered mouse, SD card and external keyboard and much more.

Keep your desktop and system drive clean:

When you boot up your PC, Windows 10 loads the most of the content of the C drive (or the drive where Windows is installed). The first thing we see on any PC after we power on it is Desktop. That means all the icons which are spread over the desktop are a part of C drive and they are also loaded up when the PC is powered up. So, try to keep your desktop clean so that Windows 10 does not have to load the entire programs scattered over the desktop.

Manage the brightness:

Brightness also consumes a lot of battery. So when watching a movie in a dark room, try to keep the brightness low. Or when you do not want your machine to be shut down and you are going somewhere, keep it dimmer. Keeping the brightness low in Windows 10 will save a lot of battery.

Nigerian Email database

Have you ever thought about getting active Nigerian databse for doing marketing, either to sale your product, or get a lead to your website? If yes is the answer then we have active Nigerian Email databases which are actively updated quartely. This Email addresses database were generated from Nigerian youths population over the years from Email newsletters, social network websites, Youth forums etc. However, we have Uk emails database, USA emails addresses, UAE emails and some other countries, place an order for any of these emails.
NOTE: These emails are purely for marketing.

This Emails comprises that of company employee emails, Company executives emails database, Church emails, individuals emails database. We provide you thoroughly checked emails which has been verified.

Our Nigerian Emails database are over 15 Million and are profiled in batches, below is sample from one of our Email batches:

We sale in volume, the higher the volume you're purchasing, the lesser the price for these Emails database. To make an order for hundreds, thousands, or even millions of these email database list, kindly make a payment using our bank account details below:

 

OPTION 1: BANK: GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC
ACCOUNT NAME: SYSTEMDIGITS PROJECTS LTD.
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 0152365872.

OPTION 2: BANK: DIAMOND BANK PLC
ACCOUNT NAME: SYSTEMDIGITS PROJECTS LTD.
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 0028374407.

Once you have ordered for any amount of our email database, send to us your teller number, your email address to 08037332963 and once we confirm your payment details, we shall forward to you the emails in any of these format in Excel format or in Notepad.

How to use your Android smartphone as remote mouse and keyboard for your PC

Here is how you can control your PC/laptop with your Android smartphone/tablet using it either as keyboard or mouse.

Android OS has increased the overall usage domain of mobile phones in a short period of time. Since it is always fun to do the awesome things with your smartphone, we are presenting a new way to use your Android smartphone/tablet. That is as a keyboard or mouse for your PC.

Before we begin, you must know this “this process will only work with Intel based PCs”. Now first of all you have to get Android Remote Keyboard App and software.

How to Set Up Intel Remote Keyboard

  1. Download Intel Remote Keyboard on your Android device or tablet.
  2. Download and install the Intel Remote Keyboard Host on your Windows PC. You will need to choose x86 or x64 depending on your Windows. If you aren’t sure what you are running, there are four easy ways to know if you’re on 64-bit Windows.
    (Important: Make sure your Android and Windows devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.)
  3. On your Android phone, tap the Windows device name.
  4. Your Windows PC will now show a large QR code. Just scan it with your Android smartphone’s camera (following the on-screen instructions) and the two devices will be paired.
  5. You’re all set!

What you can do:

How to use Android as keyboard or mouse for PC

The App is basically a virtual trackpad and keyboard for your computer. You can use it in portrait or landscape mode.

In portrait mode, your screen is divided into the trackpad area on the top and keyboard at the bottom. Intel’s keyboard looks much like any Android keyboard, but also has a Windows button, an Esc button, and the four arrow keys.

How to use Android as keyboard or mouse for PC

remote keyboard

Stuff which should have been there:

There could be some enhanced controls to fully optimise the facility. First, there is no “continuous scrolling” , that means you have to touch scroll button many times for scrolling upto a large distance. Second there is no “direct volume control” , since it is always convenient to adjust volume by using a dedicated key than to use mouse. We firmly expect that these features will be added in the upcoming updates.

Police arrested hackers who stole millions from European atms

european-atm-hacker
Romanian law enforcement authorities have arrested eight cyber criminals suspected of being part of an international criminal gang that pilfered cash from ATMs (automatic teller machines) using malware.

The operation said to be one of the first operations of this type in Europe, was conducted in Romania and Moldova by Romanian National Police and the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crimes and Terrorism (DIICOT), with assistance from Europol, Eurojust and other European law enforcement authorities.

Europol did not provide names of any of the eight criminals arrested but said that the gang allegedly used a piece of malware, dubbed Tyupkin, to conduct what are known as Jackpotting attacks and made millions by infecting ATMs across Europe and beyond.

With the help of Tyupkin malware, the suspects were able to empty cash from infected ATMs by issuing commands through the ATM's pin pad.

"The criminal group was involved in large scale ATM Jackpotting – a term which refers to the use of a Trojan horse, physically launched via an executable file in order to target an ATM," Europol explained in a press release, "thus allowing the attackers to empty the ATM cash cassettes via direct manipulation, using the ATM PIN pad to submit commands to the Trojan."

Tyupkin was first analysed in 2014 by Kaspersky Lab following the request from a financial institution. During the investigation, Kaspersky found the malware threat on more than 50 ATMs in Eastern Europe.

The malware allows its operators to withdraw cash from ATMs without the requirement of any payment card.

Although, Europol did not specify how much money in total the criminal gang was able to plunder, it believed that the gang was able to cause “substantial losses” across Europe and that the losses could be in Millions.

How To Find The WiFi Password Of Your Current Network

There are different ways to retrieve the WiFi password of the network that you are connected to. Out of these, some methods include complex steps, whereas some are pretty handy and require only few commands to extract the WiFi password of your current network. Read the article to know how you can do this.

 

 

Forgetting our own WiFi password is one of the most common mistakes we often commit. It’s really irritating not knowing the password of your own WiFi network to which your most of the devices are connected and having a hard time connecting a new one. So, here I will try to solve this problem for you. (Pardon me for using old Windows Classic theme, I like it this way :P).

 

 

In the following tutorial, I am going to tell you five different methods to find out WiFi password of your current network. These methods include retrieving WiFi password on a Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android device.

 

Method 1: Finding the WiFi Password  in Windows Using Command Prompt

  • First open the Command Prompt on your Windows PC by typing cmd in the Start Menu.
  • Now select Run as administrator by right-clicking on it.

wifi-password-cmd

  • Once Command Prompt is opened, you need to type the following command in it (Replace systemdigits with your WiFi network name), and hit enter.

 

 

  • After hitting Enter, you will see all the details including your wifi password as key content (as shown in the above picture).
  • In case you want a list of your previous WiFi connections, type this command:

wifi-password-previous-profiles

 

Method 2: Revealing WiFi Password Using General Method in Windows

  • First navigate through the system tray and right-click the WiFi symbol.
  • Now select Open Network and Sharing Center.wifi-password-network-sharing center
  • Now click on Change adapter setting. Since I am using Windows Classic theme here, so you might find a little change in the icons, but I assure you that the method is same in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

wifi-adapter-setting

  • Now right click on the WiFi network and select status on the drop-down menu.

wifi-adapter-setting-status

  • Now click on Wireless Properties in the resulting pop-up window.

wireless-properties

  • Click on Security and then Show characters to find out the password of your current WiFi network.

wifi-password-simple

Method 3. Retrieve WiFi Password in Mac using Terminal

  • Press Cmd+Space to open Spotlight, and then type terminal to open the Terminal window.
  • Now enter the following command (replace systemdigits with your WiFi network name and press enter) and then enter your Mac username and password.

mac-wifi-password-network

 

  • Your WiFi password of the current network will appear in plain text.

Method 4: Extracting WiFi Password in Linux

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+T in order to open the terminal in Linux.
  • Now type the following command (replace systemdigits with your WiFi network name) and then enter your Linux username and password.

 linux-wifi-password

 

  • You will find your WiFi password there, in case you want to know the network name, type the following command:

Method 5: Finding Wifi Password in Android

This method needs a rooted Android device with the free app ES File Explorer installed on it. Follow these simple steps to recover your WiFi password:

  • Open ES File Explorer. Now in the menu, go to Local, then tap on Select Device. Here ES File Explorer will ask for the Super User permission, click and allow it.
  • Now open the folder named data and look for folder misc.
  •  Now open the folder “wifi” where you will spot a file named wpa_supplicant.conf.
  • Open it as text and look for your WiFi name (SSID). Below the SSID, you’ll find your lost WiFi password (psk).

 

Ten Free Wireless Hacking Software

There are lots of free tools available online to get easy access to the WiFi networks intended to help the network admins and the programmers working on the WiFi systems and we have picked the top 10 of those for ethical hackers, programmers and businessmen.

Internet is now a basic requirement be it office or home as it is majorly used in smartphones besides computer. Most of the times people prefer to use wireless network LAN which is much easier and cost effective.

It has been observed that the neighborhood WiFi hot-spots are visible on user’s device however one can get access to the same only by cracking password with the sole purpose of using free internet. Also in case of big firms where all the employees are connected through a wireless network admin might want to keep a check on the network traffic and hence even they need tools to crack the network.

Vulnerability in the wireless LAN is majorly due to poor configuration and poor encryption. Poor configuration includes the case of weak password mainly done purposefully by the network admin to check the network traffic. Poor encryption is dangerous as it is related to the 2 security protocols WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (WiFi Protected Access) and WPA is again of 2 types WPA1 and WPA2, WPA was introduced in 2003 as WEP protocol was easy to crack. The tools used to hack the network is used either for the purpose of sniffing the network : as is the case of network admins and
    cracking the password: used by programmers to rectify the trouble shooting and by the people who want to use internet free of cost. It has been seen that based on this concept there are around 10 tools together which can be understood to hack wireless LAN.

Aircrack

Most popular wireless password cracking tool, it attacks 802.11a/b/g WEP and WPA. This tool manufacturers also provides tutorial for installation of the tool and its usage for cracking the password. Prior to using this tool it is essential to confirm that the wireless card can inject packets as this is basis of WEP attack. This can be downloaded from: http://www.aircrack-ng.org/

2) Cain & Able: This tool intercepts the network traffic and cracks the passwords forcibly using crypt-analysis attack methods. It also helps to recover the wireless network keys by analyzing routine protocols. Can be downloaded from : http://www.oxid.it/cain.html
inSSIDer

This tool has been awarded “Best Opensource Software in Networking” and is a paid software available at a cost of $19.99. This is popular scanner for Microsoft Windows and OS X operating systems and can do a lot of tasks which can be helpful for the admins to sniff the network LAN. Can be downloaded from : http://www.inssider.com/
WireShark

This is network protocol analyzer. So again good for the network admins to keep a check on the traffic. Basic requirement is that the user should have a good knowledge of the network protocol only then they can use this tool. Can be downloaded from : https://www.wireshark.org/
CoWPAtty

This tool is an automated dictionary attack tool for WPA-PSK. CoWPatty is simple to use however it is slow as tool uses the password dictionary for generating hack for each word contained in the dictionary by using the SSID. Can be downloaded from: http://sourceforge.net/projects/cowpatty/
Airjack

This is a Wi-Fi 802.11 packet injection tool. Mostly used to check for the “man-in-the-middle (MiTm) flaws” in the network and mitigate them. Can be downloaded from : http://sourceforge.net/projects/airjack/
WepAttack

This is an open source Linux tool for breaking 802.11 WEP keys. While working with this tool a WLAN card is required and basically the tool attacks working key using the dictionary words. Can be downloaded from : http://wepattack.sourceforge.net/
OmniPeek

This is again network analyzer tool working only on Windows OS. This tools captures and analyzes the network traffic. The tool can be also used for trouble shooting. Can be downloaded from : http://www.wildpackets.com/products/distributed_network_analysis/omnipeek_network_analyzer
CommView for WiFi

This is for wireless monitoring and protocol analysis. Captured packets can be decoded by user-defined WEP or WPA keys.  This again is mainly used to monitor the WiFi traffic by the professional programmers, protocol admins and even at homes. Can be downloaded from : http://www.tamos.com/products/commwifi/
CloudCracker

This is online password cracking for WPA protected WiFi networks. It is used to crack the passwords by using a dictionary of around 300 million words. Can be downloaded from : https://www.cloudcracker.com/

Most of these tools are free; some of them are for protocol analyzers to monitor the trouble shooting whereas others are for hacking the password for unauthorized internet access also there are tools which use the dictionary words to crack the password.

For the network admins and the professional programmers these tools should be more helpful for understanding the cracking of password and hence helping them professionally.

However, one needs to be cautious when using the tools as this might be an offense to use the tools to crack the passwords and get unauthorized access to the internet in some countries. Also such kind of tools are also used by cyber criminals and terrorists to get easy access for free usage of internet anonymously.

Record-breaking 1 Tbs speed achieved over 5G mobile connection.

New Generations usually bring new base technologies, more network capacity for more data per user, and high speed Internet service, for which Internet service providers usually advertise. However, it is believed that the fifth generation (5G Technology) of mobile network will be beyond our thoughts.

1TBPS OVER 5G
Security researchers from the University of Surrey have just achieved Record-Breaking data speeds during a recent test of 5G wireless data connections, achieving an incredible One Terabit per second (1Tbps) speed – many thousands of times faster than the existing 4G connections.

After 4G, 5G is the next generation of mobile communication technology that aims at offering far greater capacity and be faster, more energy-efficient and more cost-effective than anything that has seen before. The boffins say 5G will be different – very different.

The 5G test was conducted at the university's 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC), which was founded by a host of telecoms industry partners including Huawei, Fujitsu, Samsung, Vodafone, EE, Aircom, BT, Telefonica, Aeroflex, BBC and Rohde & Schwarz.

DOWNLOAD 100 MOVIES IN JUST 3 SECONDS
1Tbps of speeds are far faster than previously announced 5G tests – Samsung’s 7.5 gigabits per second (Gbps) record, which was 30 times faster than 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) speed and just less than 1% of the Surrey team's speed.

    "We have developed 10 more breakthrough technologies and one of them means we can exceed 1Tbps wirelessly. This is the same capacity as fiber optics but we are doing it wirelessly," 5GIC director Prof Rahim Tafazolli told the news website V3.

With 1Tbps, it is possible to download a file 100 times the size of a feature film in just three seconds. This incredible speed is over 65,000 times faster than the current 4G download speeds.

5G EXPECTED TO ROLL OUT BY 2020
The test was carried out over a distance of 100 meters using equipment built at the university. The head of the 5GIC said he planned to demonstrate the technology to the public in 2018. It’s believed that 5G could possibly be available in the UK by 2020.

UK communications regulator Ofcom has been supportive of efforts to get 5G to the public. Ofcom previously said it expected 5G mobile should be able to deliver speeds between 10 and 50Gbps, compared with the 4G average download speed of 15 Megabits per second (Mbps).

    According to Prof Tafazolli, there were hurdles to overcome before 5G would be ready, he said, "An important aspect of 5G is how it will support applications in the future. We don't know what applications will be in use by 2020, or 2030 or 2040 for that matter, but we know they will be highly sensitive to latency."

There is a need to bring "end-to-end latency down to below one millisecond" in order to enable latest technologies and applications which would just not be possible with 4G. Tafazolli mentioned 3D holographic chess games on smartphones, controlling connected cars over 5G and other possible future applications requiring such low latency.

5G – NEW FRONTIER FOR CYBER ATTACKS
5G will, no doubt, provide a high speed Internet connectivity that would be really a great news for all, but that would be a distinction for cyber criminals as well. In Future, by leveraging 5G technology, it would be very easy for hackers and cybercriminals to take down almost any website on the Internet using Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

In Era of expected 50Gbps Internet speed at home or business, there would be no need for cyber criminals to make a critical infrastructure of botnets by compromising hundreds of thousands of devices, rather they only need few devices with 5G Internet connection to launch the ever largest DDoS attack of around 1 Tbps.

To resolve such issues in future, High speed Internet service providers and online communications service providers need to setup real time monitoring, reporting, limiting, and mitigation and protection mechanism against DDoS attacks in an attempt to protect online users.

Learning to become a Hacker.

Hacker doesn’t mean “to use hacking tools which made by professional or by other anonymous hackers”  if you do use hacking tools you would called “cracker” or “noob” in the hackers world.

Becoming a hacker is not an easy job, it needs a lot of interest, passion and hardwork. If you are interested in hacking or in cyber world then it’s not a tough job for you to become a hacker.

So let us elaborate in steps for becoming a hacker

1. Learn about basic computer stuff (using operating system, and other stuff)

Learn using operating system, fixing every problem you face in your pc, then you should use multiple operating systems like linux or more,

2. Learn about networking concepts

Learn about networking concepts, new networking terms (protocols, ip addresses, http, ftp and more)

3. Learn c programming language or Javascript

c programming language, is the first language picked mostly for learning programming

4. Learn php scripting language

As per the professional hackers, php is much more useful for hacking into web entities, php is also useful for web developing

5. Try to understand how hacking tools work

You can use hacking tools which are made by experts, but this won’t make you a hacker, more a script kiddie or noob (this is real hackers would call you). In order to get a real hacker, you need to understand how hacking tools work and be able to code them even yourself.

6. Learn about new malwares

Every week new malware is being introduced to the cyber world which are made by black hats, in order to gain fame, earn money or more. Learn about malwares through hacking websites.

Do some research on them, particularly about how they are working

7. Learn some white hat hacking

It’s your choice whether you want be  black hat or white hat, while white hats are known as good guys, black hats are the ones doing illegal things with their hacking skills, either for personal interests or for money. Do some white hacking, it will help you gain experience in hacking, if you want be white hat, then you should participate in bug bounty programs.

8. Try to make tools with python

Python is a widely used programming language, you can use python for making your own hacking tools, or other programming languages in which you are good, but python is the most preferred language used by hackers for making hacking tools

9. Most important step is secure yourself from being hacked

Before starting into hacking stuff, it is important to secure yourself from being caught or being hacked by using a VPN or other methods.

10. Spend a lot of time with hacking and programming

The more time you spend with hacking or programming, the more you’ll become stronger

So spend at least 4 to 5 hours daily,

 

Macro Malware Is Back From The Dead, Here’s How To Defeat It

Macro-malware-backShort Bytes: The notorious macro malware from the 1990s is making a comeback in a big manner. The latest security reports suggest that macro malware attack techniques have evolved with time and you need to be extra cautious. Read this article to know how macro malware works and know the steps to defeat such attacks.

Macro malware is back – it’s the latest word on the street – according to the security researchers at MacAfee Labs. They have just released their regular threat report that outlines the latest security trends. Hiding in Word documents, Macro malware first rose to the surface in the 1990s.

But, why are we witnessing a sudden rise of the Macro malware in the last month? The MacAfee Labs report tries to find out the reasons and mentions the steps that need to be taken to secure ourselves.

If you are an avid follower of the security trends, you would remember the familiar message from about 20 years ago that read “Warning: This document contains macros.” Threats like WM.Concept (first macro virus to spread through Word) and Melissa (first mass-mailing macro virus) haunted the PCs until Redmond took steps to calm them down.

How does macro malware work?

A Macro automates the frequency of a performed task and does it repeatedly. Usually, a macro malware is a piece of embedded code hidden in a document. If it’s attached to a Microsoft Office file, it’s usually written in Visual Basic for Applications.

macro-malware-return

Whenever some infected PC’s user performs an operation like opening a document or starting Word, a macro malware runs automatically. Due to the popularity of Microsoft Word, this malware spreads easily. When Microsoft recognized the threat, it changed the default Office configuration and stopped allowing macro execution.

Why has macro malware returned?

Many big organizations use macros and make themselves prone to the risk by opening the backdoor. As a result, hackers take the advantage of the situation and use methods like social engineering to facilitate the return of macro malware. It is spread through spam email attachments with frequently changing subjects to avoid detection.

In the recent years, the increasing popularity of the Office software has allowed them to access more low-level PC features. During the past few quarters, we have noticed a huge increase in the macro malware. As a result, the Office macro threat is at its highest level in the past six years.

macro-malware-return
How to defeat macro malware attack?

After being around for almost two decades, the new breed of macro malware has become more efficient and flexible by utilizing features like PowerShell.

macro-malware-return-word

    To defeat such attacks, you are advised to install the operating system and Office updates and patch the vulnerabilities regularly.
    Use an antimalware software and configure it to scan all email and attachments. Turn off the settings that allow the documents to download and open directly.
    Don’t open unexpected documents received in emails and configure your browser security settings to the maximum level.
    Look for pings from IP addresses like 1.3.1.2 or 2.2.1.1, etc. from internal computers.
    Be extra cautious while opening empty documents that ask you to enable macros to views the content.

Source: MacAfee Labs.