Posted By: ITWiser Webmaster - Yorkshire's IT Specialists
Posted By: IT Wiser
BlackShades: The Malware that Lets Hackers Spy on You
BlackShades, an organisation you may not of heard of before this week, has gained mainstream media coverage recently thanks to the FBI’s announcement that hundreds of arrests have been made as part of a crackdown on the software.
More than 300 properties were searched across the world, with 15 arrests made in the UK and many more in the United States, Moldova, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Austria, Estonia, Denmark, Canada, Chile, Croatia, and Italy, reported the BBC.
The reason for the FBI-co-ordinated operation is focussed on preventing the development and use of BlackShades software. BlackShades is a malware programme that allows users to remotely access and control computers and webcams. It is widely available on the Web and sold for as little as $40 (£23) – turning buyers into peeping toms that can steal your personal information.
Since 2010, the malware is thought to have infected more than 500,000 computers, with around 200,000 usernames and passwords stolen by UK users of the software alone.
According to the National Crime Agency, the software typically infects computers when people click on external links on social networking sites and in emails that purport to lead to pictures, videos or other items of interest.
When installed, criminals can use the software to capture personal information, or take photographs of computer users – which may be used to blackmail them, the BBC reported.
The BlackShades remote access tool (RAT) is pretty much the same software used by IT departments to gain remote access to a computer, except you have no idea someone is on your computer. Like an IT technician, a hacker will be able to do anything on a PC that you can do and the malware is designed in a way that makes it easy for anyone to use.
Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said BlackShades was a “frightening form of cybercrime” with capabilities that are “sophisticated and its invasiveness breath-taking”.
How Can You Stay Protected?
To protect your system against BlackShades hackers, the FBI and security experts recommend keeping software updated, not opening suspicious email attachments or URLs, and installing reliable anti-virus software. When it comes to the latter, Cloud Web Security from ITWiser is software you can trust to keep your computers safe.
This solution uses state-of-the-art anti-virus, anti-phishing, anti-spyware, and anti-malware engines to scan websites and protect against malicious content. On software like BlackShades that relies on human interaction to prosper, this level of protection is essential in ensuring your employees and your business is safe.
Follow this link to find out more about how Cloud Web Security can work for you.