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Stop Doxware Viruses from Infecting Your Computer

doxware-confidential-sensorstechforum-malwareMalware sure is evolving fast and many researchers and cyber-security officials are concerned about that. The latest developments in malware seemed to recently be the new ransomware viruses that terrorize victims all the time. However, even ransomware viruses can evolve and doxware is the proof of that. This new form of malware originating from ransomware viruses takes online extortion to a whole new level, threatening victims that their personal files will now be exposed publicly to their friends. Cyber-security experts feel very concerned that this new type of threat will cause a lot of damage if it becomes widespread and attacks private organizations, threatening to leak secret files to the public if a ransom has not been paid. We have decided to make an extensive article that will help you understand more what doxware is and what data management tactics and protection techniques can help you deal with this new type of threat.

What Is Doxware?

By definition doxware comes from the term doxing also known as “doxxing”. It is basically the activity of exposing publicly files that are sensitive for someone. Let’s imagine that Jenny is a malware researcher and she does not like anyone to know her name. Now let’s imagine that someone attacks Jenny’s computer with doxware and threatens to expose that she cracked so many viruses, making her a direct target by many black hat hackers whose business Jenny had ruined. This is essentially the purpose of the Doxware, except it works in combination with ransomware. Instead of going through the painstaking process of encrypting and decrypting files, the malware writers may focus more and more on the private files of users to directly threaten to leak them to friends on social media or sell them online. This very real threat is now a reality and viruses, like Epic Ransomware are using encryption in combination with doxxing type of threats to “motivate” victims to pay the ransom.

Security experts now see such threats to become more and more often in the future and are massively warning users on social media:

ransomware-doxware-sensorstechforum-twitter-malware
Image Source: Twitter

As Mikko Hypponen, a star in the malware research sphere recently quoted – “It is no longer a war against our computers, it is now a war against our lives.”, this forecast is becoming more and more correct. With doxware viruses which may become very widespread and completely replace the traditional ransomware, the profits of cyber-criminals will rapidly rise. This is due to the unique strategy of doxware that works by inducing fear in the victim, leaving no choice. And what is more to it than that, malware researchers will be helpless, due to the fact that even if they are able to decrypt the files, they will be leaked publicly.

How Is Doxware Expected to Spread

Similar to most typical ransomware viruses, doxware ransomware may spread via phishing e-mails, who, just like malware have also evolved. Unlike the previously used e-mail attachments in archives, cyber-criminals now obfuscate the attachments using JavaScripts and expensive exploit kits. Not only this, but doxware may also be spread by malicious web links that cause injection of such scripts which is becoming more and more common and difficult to spot. Here is a fake phishing web page, distributing doxware under a fake PayPal button:

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How to Protect Yourself from Doxware

Basically when we talk about Doxware protection, the principles remain rather the same like with any other malware out there because Doxware has evolved in the activities it performs after the infection itself is done, not during the infection, which is mostly done via Exploit Kits, Trojan.Downloaders, injector tools, malicious JavaScript or PUPs.

This is why we have assembled some articles with updated knowledge we have and tactics to protect yourself. They will work for doxware viruses, especially when it comes to data protection. This is why we advise following them and combining them into a system that is tailor made against doxware for your network whether it is home or office.

Here are the informative articles:

Vencislav Krustev

A network administrator and malware researcher at SensorsTechForum with passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cyber security. Strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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  • I predict that the doxware threats will continue to evolve and spread. This is a disturbing sign of some of the dangers that are upon us.
    Stay protected!

    • Milena Dimitrova

      Agreed!

    • something surely has to be done, concerning data management

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