What is Crimeware?

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Crimeware is doing illegal online activities with the use of various malware types. More specifically, Crimeware may be a virus, spyware, or other piece of software that can be used to commit identity theft and fraud.

Crimeware can take a number of actions, including:

  • Furtively install keystroke loggers to procure sensitive data, such as login and password information for online bank accounts, and report them back to the thief.
  • Redirect a user’s web browser to a counterfeit website controlled by the thief.
  • Enable remote access into applications, allowing criminals to break into networks for malicious purposes.
  • Encrypt all data on a computer and require the user to pay  to decrypt it (ransomware).
  • Sending out an email with an attachment to execute a payload to spread the malware.

This type of malware can have significant economic impact due to loss of sensitive and proprietary information and associated financial losses. CryptoWall related complaints from April 2014 to June 2015 (as reported by the FBI) the reported losses relate not just to ransom payments potentially made by victims, but additional costs that can include “network mitigation, network countermeasures, loss of productivity, legal fees, IT services and/or the purchase of credit monitoring services for employees or customers.” U.S. businesses and consumers have experienced more than $18 million in losses stemming from a single strain of ransomware and this figure is projected to rise exponentially this year.

Protecting yourself against Crimeware

– Keep your computer current with the latest patches and updates.
– Choose strong passwords and keep them safe.
– Protect your computer with security software.
– Protect your personal information.
– Review bank and credit card statements regularly.
– If you don’t know what/who something is coming from, do not open it.
– Find a backup solution that is right for you.

 

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