Highlights Tech

Meet “Satan”, one of the biggest threats on the internet today

It spreads quickly and effectively blocks valuable data on the victim’s computer. Specialists from Fortinet have just discovered a new variant of this virus that is even more dangerous. Here is “Satan”, one of the biggest threats on the web.

The malware called “Satan”  is not new. It was created in 2017 and has been constantly improved since then. Now Fortinet’s FortiGuard analysts have discovered new attacks based on this program.

What is “Satan”?

This is one of the most dangerous ransomware virus.That is, software that is designed to encrypt files on the victim’s computer. Initially, the program goes unnoticed into the device. Later on, using numerous vulnerabilities in public and external networks, it spreads to other devices.

Cybercriminals using ‘Satan’, in exchange for a code that decrypts data relevant to us, demand a ransom paid most often in the form of cryptocurrency. Without it, unlocking files is usually very difficult or even impossible. In this case, having a backup might be a rescue.

The new “Satan” is even more dangerous

Specialists from Fortinet have found that the threat has returned and is now even stronger than before. It can run on computers with both Windows and Linux systems and uses even greater vulnerability of these devices to attacks.

The most important update that has been seen in FortiGuard is the addition of several exploits responsible for remote code execution of web applications, which are also implemented in the Linux version

– explains Robert Dąbrowski , head of the Fortinet engineering team in Poland.

In addition to encrypting the victim’s data, “Satan” also scans programs installed on the computer. It probably collects statistics in this way, which it then uses later in subsequent attacks. It can be easily updated by cyber criminals who want to use it to attack specific applications.

In addition, the new variant of “Satan” uses the computing power of the computer to mine cryptocurrency against the will, and often even the knowledge of its owner. The negative effect of this process is faster wear of components, especially the processor, and huge electricity consumption. As a result, this causes higher electricity bills.

How to defend against ransomware?

First of all, you need to be careful online. It is worth considering carefully whether the link you are about to open contains malware. Additionally, it’s also better to immediately delete suspicious emails. These emails sometimes contain a malware that cyber criminals deliver to a potential victim.

The attack is usually preceded by sending a phishing email containing a link to a file with a malicious program or infected site. That is why one of the most important elements of cyber hygiene is the rule not to open suspicious messages. Don’t click on the hyperlinks contained in them.

– explains Robert Dąbrowski.

More and more businesses are becoming Victims

Experts point out that the popularity of ransomware attacks is not falling. Increasingly, however, they are no longer targeted at individual users, but at private companies and institutions.

The survey conducted by Fortinet shows that this is currently the greatest threat faced by companies. As much as half of them have experienced this type of threat.

Recently, there have been at least several spectacular attacks on a larger scale. In 2017, WannaCry ransomware wreaked havoc that attacked targets in over 100 countries around the world. Earlier on February this year, a ransomware attack was the reason for the state of emergency in Seattle , USA. In May, other software of this type paralyzed the operation of the city of Baltimore.

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