Lately, there has been a spike in the detection of malware and ransomware not just in mobiles, but also in computers. The latter has a more devastating effect such as a denial of services in hospitals, airports, and other large corporations and government institutions.
Now, reports are coming in that malware dubbed as Retadup has been infecting hundreds of thousands computer in several international regions, particularly in Latin America.
Security researchers of Avast uncovered the source of Retadup’s Command and Control (C&C) server in France, which used to propagate botnet to help spread Retadup to multiple devices. Once inside the victim’s PC, it would take over the device’s processor to mine cryptocurrency on the Internet without the user’s consent.
Taking note of the severity of the issue, Avast shared the information with the Cybercrime Fighting Center (C3N) of the French National Gendarmerie in March 2019. Immediately, the authorities started the investigation in July, they got the official nod from prosecutor to go ahead to neutralise the Retadup malware.
“After analyzing Retadup more closely, we found that while it is very prevalent, its C&C communication protocol is quite simple. We identified a design flaw in the C&C protocol that would have allowed us to remove the malware from its victims’ computers had we taken over its C&C server”, Avast said in the blog post.
After finding the design flaw in the Retadup malware spreading mechanism, The Avast team and french cybercrime police replaced the malicious C&C server with a disinfection server. Within seconds, several thousand bots connected to the Retadup C&C were taken down.
The study also revealed that the Retadup C&C server was also found in the US. C3N of the French National Gendarmerie informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and were promptly neutralised.
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So far, more than 850,000 infected computers were disinfected. It can be noted that the around 85-percent of the victims had no dedicated security software. It is advisable that the PC users to install ant-virus software, which is capable of scanning and notifying the owner and removes it before its too late.
Here’s How to safeguard your PC or mobile phone from adware and other malicious threats:
1) Whether you have an Android mobile or iOS-based iPhone or Windows-powered PCs or Mac computer, always stay updated with the latest software. All Google, Microsoft, and Apple send regularly send firmware — especially security patches monthly or on a priority basis, whenever they detect threats. So, make sure you install the latest software.
2) Another good practice is to install a premium Antivirus software, which offers 24×7 protection. They are equipped to detect threats quickly whenever you unknowingly visit a shady website
3) Never ever open emails or SMS and click URL links sent from unknown senders
4) Also, never install apps or software from unfamiliar publishers.
5) Always download apps from Google Play or Apple App Store or Windows Store only. Never install from any third-party app store.
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