Haunted by old malware

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A lot of IT security related news focuses heavily on ‘new’ forms of malware, like ransomware for example, but older malware is still doing the rounds and causing trouble.

Ransomware is the latest greatest threat and it’s grabbing a lot of headlines and attention because of it.

Quite right too, as we say repeatedly on this blog, users being aware and educated about potential threats is the key first step in avoidance and mitigation.

However just because you’re not hearing about an old virus or piece of malware doesn’t mean that it’s dead and buried. Far from it, it could have changed and evolved many times since its inception.


Old malware, new threats


Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, explains that malware such as Ramnit and Sality are still very much around, still changing and still evolving.

“Old malware is still very much doing the rounds, we are still seeing Ramnit and Sality appearing in our top ten threats on a consistent basis considering the original incarnations of these were 2011 and 2005 respectively it’s a little concerning.

“Now we need to understand of course that these infections will adapt and change from the originals but the public will still very much see and remember the name not the fact that they may have mutated into different forms of the original malware.

“The IT security industry can only do so much: we can teach, educate, and show users and or companies the best practices on how you can protect yourself but ultimately it’s down to the user.

“They can only use the tools they are given and if they are not up to speed on the different attack vectors doing the rounds then they already are at a disadvantage.

Keeping all software and hardware up to date is the very core of keeping safe, understanding and education on current threats will also help massively in your day to day combat against malware.

“And of course a good regular updating internet security product will help to keep you safe when something slips through.”

Do you worry about older malware? Or is ransomware your foremost malware fear?

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