If you are unaware of a threat, how can you remove it? Traditional cyber security systems and antivirus software are not always able to identify the evasive strategies that threat actors are increasingly putting into their malware.
Evasive malware presents a modified and potentially more dangerous type of threat to your computer systems. Your computers would already be infected by the time you realise you’ve been targeted by evasive malware. The result could include a data breach, resulting in huge fines and a loss of trust from clients, customers, and the public in your company.
In order to develop effective countermeasures against evasive malware, it’s crucial to grasp your opponent’s tactics and strategy. You will learn about evasive malware in this post, including what it is, the amount of threat it poses, the evasive techniques it uses, and what you can do to stop it from infecting your systems.
How does evasive malware work?
Any type of malware that resists detection by antivirus software, EDRs (Endpoint Detection and Response solutions), XDRs (Extended Detection and Response solutions), and other cyber security solutions is known as evasive malware. As its name implies this is a malicious program or file that is able to evade traditional methods of virus and malware detection.
These include sandbox evasion, process injection, time-based evasion, Office macros, living off the land, obfuscation, and many other techniques used by evasive malware.
To give you a sense of how these criminals manipulate the programs so that they manage to escape detection, we’ll cover a couple of these evasion strategies in more detail during this guide.
Is evasive malware a major threat?
Depending on the primary objective of the malware—whether it be sabotage, encryption, or data theft, —the malware’s execution time might range from a few seconds to months.
Whatever the objective, achieving it would require some time for the program to run. So while traditional types of malware might be detected on download or attempting to run for the first time, evasive malware might wait longer until there is a gap in protection. Therefore, a malware’s chances of succeeding are increased the longer it can remain undetected.
Evasive strategies are dangerous because they give viruses the opportunity to delay their mission long enough to succeed.
No matter how effective your cybersecurity solutions are in removing threats, if they can’t identify such threats in a timely manner, your organisation will suffer serious harm.
For instance, if the malware’s operations are intended to steal personal information, you may find yourself facing legal action and a data breach that could result in fines.
Common types of evasive malware
Authors of malware have a wide range of evasion strategies at their disposal. A few of the most popular are listed here.
Sandbox evasion may be the evasive strategy used the most frequently. A sandbox is essentially a secure holding space for newly introduced unknown files in the context of malware detection.
Many cybersecurity solutions make advantage of it. These solutions install unidentified software and examine it for indications of harmful behaviour. When a piece of software behaves maliciously, it is classified as malware and the required measures (such as file deletion, quarantining, etc.) are performed.
Sandboxes are efficient against common malware, but they are useless against malware that has the ability to evade them. A malware that is elusive can look around for sandbox indicators and then hibernate until the sandbox expires.
Malware utilises obfuscation as an evasion technique to thwart signature-based malware detection.
An anti-malware programme checks the signature of an unknown file with known malware signatures in its database in signature-based malware detection, which is the type of detection that historically was utilised by traditional antivirus software.
A file is regarded as malicious if a signature matches. Obfuscating malware makes it harder for signature-based anti-malware programmes to detect it by changing the file’s contents or structure (e.g., by coding, packing, or encryption).
These tools won’t be able to identify a dangerous file that has been encrypted as malware when they scan it.
How to block evasive malware
Even if evasive malware is difficult to find, it can still be defeated. Here are some steps you may do to stop them from gaining a foothold in your systems:
Ensure you system patches are up to date
Although it may sound cliche, applying patches can actually reduce the likelihood of acquiring malware infections, even if the malware you’re dealing with is elusive.
Any virus would need a method of entry before it could infect your machine, such as a trojan distributed over email, social engineering, phishing, or, exploiting weaknesses on unpatched software.
You can stop evasive malware from accessing your system through vulnerability exploitation by patching your systems as required.
Software to target evasive malware
There are a few exceptions to the rule that most cyber security technologies are unreliable against evasive malware. For example products from companies like Cyren are available for purchase to strengthen your defences against evasive malware.
Malware threats that are extremely evasive are expanding quickly. A next-generation sandboxing range provided by Cyren significantly raises the likelihood of discovery.
Hire IT security experts
A cybersecurity system cannot be deployed, configured, or managed by some organisations due to a lack of internal IT talent.
For instance, small enterprises typically don’t have established IT teams.
If you find yourself in a scenario like that, you can get assistance from an IT support company that offers cyber security services.
In addition to selecting the best solution, the proper supplier can also deploy and manage it. The right IT support company could also provide further advice for thwarting evasive spyware.
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