What is Rootkit And How To Remove It For Free

Rootkit is a program that hides itself deep into a computer’s operating system, which allows external users to operate and control the computer’s system from outside.

While it opens the door to areas, which are forbidden to unauthorized users, it also has the ability to hide its presence, which makes them almost impossible to detect and remove.

The funny story about this type of malware is that they have been around for more than twenty years, but in the beginning, they weren’t malicious programs at all. They were rather used as a part of totally legitimate applications.

Once cyber criminals discovered the interesting nature of rootkits, the term got a negative connotation. Because of its association with malware, it is now known as a very common tool for malicious attacks.

What Does Rootkit Stand For?

“Root” stands for a UNIX/Linux term that’s the equivalent of Administrator in Windows and “kit” refers to the software components.

How Does a Rootkit Work?

The attacker installs a rootkit on users PC once they get the Administrator access which is only possible with a direct attack on a PC’s system, which can be done by exploiting a known vulnerability or a password.

Once installed, it will hide deep into the system and get full control over it.

How to Remove Rootkit?

Since the nature of a rootkit allows it to hide itself very deep and embed itself into the operating system it is very hard to detected it. However, it must be removed as soon as possible since it works in such a way that many legitimate and important function calls and data are passed through their oversight which can cause many damage to the owner of the PC.

It is important to emphasize that this kind of infection must be removed very carefully. Otherwise, you can break some vital functionality of the operating system and make even worse damage.

Long story short, removal process is not easy and if you are infected you may want to install a specialized rootkit removal software tool which will remove the infection easily without damaging your operating system.

Years of careful rootkit character investigation helped Zemana in developing the best possible rootkit remediator.

It has been tested by MRG Effitas, an independent UK test house and defined as the best rootkit remediator.

To have the proactive protection and never let any of these infections get near your PC, install Zemana AntiMalware Premium and stay worry free.

You can download the 15-days free trial of Zemana AntiMalware here.

How To Prevent Ransomware?

Afraid of ransomware? Don’t be. Follow the below mentioned steps for ransomware protection and you are good to go!

First Thing First: Back Up 

Don’t just agree with the fact that it is important. Do it also!

In case of a ransomware attack, regular up-to-date backups are the most reliable method for recovering data held for ransom.

Since ransomware is mostly attacking data on a connected network, the best thing would be to keep the backed up data in an offline environment. 

Install Latest Security Patches And Updates

Ok, you got the first step. Now, always keep your operating system and software up-to-date by installing the latest security patches and updates.

Why? Ransomware authors usually attack people that have outdated software with many open and known vulnerabilities.

Therefore, install the latest security patches, keep your software up-to-date and you will significantly decrease the possibility of a ransomware attack.  

Block Malicious Ads

Ransomware authors also use malicious ads that attempt to install ransomware and other infections on your PC.  Due to the nature of ads and their speed, it has the ability to infect thousands of people within 24 hours.

In order to avoid this kind of scenarios use an ad blocker to avoid the threat of a potentially malicious ad that hides ransomware.

Stay Informed – Knowledge Is Power

Social engineering is one of the methods ransomware attackers use in order to infect you. Just now it may be sitting in your inbox, hiding and waiting for you to open it, or to click on a link in the spam email or activate macros in a malicious document.

Learn how social engineering works and get to know all the tactics in order to spot a malicious email right away. You should always think twice before clicking something or opening a file. If it seems suspicious to you, then it probably is.

Never ever click, download or open something that looks suspicious to you. Always double check. 

Install a Security Suite

It is always wiser to choose ransomware protection over expensive pay outs to hackers. Cyber criminals attack individuals because they are aware that they don’t do regular backups and most importantly they fail to invest in necessary cyber security solutions.

Build your defense system with a security solution but keep in mind that you need a security suite with a specific emphasis on the ransomware protection capabilities.

Pay ransomware protection rather than ransom to hackers.

If you want to defeat ransomware, don’t just leave this article without applying the above mentioned steps. So, back up, always keep your system up to date, don’t click on any link you find interesting, get an ad blocker and install ransomware protection.

Follow these simple 5 steps and you don’t have to worry about ransomware anymore.

Stay safe with Zemana! 🙂

Beware of holiday phishing scams

Phishing scams are always trendy but during holiday seasons, when everyone is checking their email for a new hot promo discount or sale offer, their impact is higher than ever. You might think: Come on, everyone can recognize an email scam-but don’t fool yourself. Hackers are learning every day new tricks and tactics. therefore phishing scams have become more sophisticated than few years back. So, while you are opening an email from your favorite vendor with a hot deal info, totally not thinking about safety, a malicious surprise might be waiting in the background to spice up your holiday mood.

They are even going for big names. Just recently the Amazon scam showed how phishing can be dangerous.

Source: hoax-slayer.net

The sneaky part of this scam is that it will redirect you to the real Amazon page once you enter the required sensitive data. The hacker got all needed information and you stay clueless.

So, what is phishing?

Phishing is widely used among cyber criminals since it is one of the most effective cyber criminal tools. The scammer is basically pretending to be a totally legitimate site or entity in order to trick you to click either on a  malicious link, enter some sensitive data or to download a malicious file and etc. Their primary goal is to get your private data such us password credentials, bank card details and other.

This is another example how a phishing scam looks like:

Source: Sonicwall

During holiday season you should beware of fake purchase invoices, hot deals delivered via emails, fake links/URLs and fake surveys. Always keep this in mind while checking your e-mail inbox.

How to avoid phishing scams?

You should learn how to identify phishing emails. Keep in mind that scammers always duplicate the image of a real company and that they include information from the employee and company as copied.

If you find it as suspicious but you are not sure, you should identify the email source by checking the IP address or by checking with the company itself.

If you receive an email from a bank with an included link- Don’t click! Banks never ask from you to reveal your sensitive data via emails and they never ever include links in their emails. If you receive a email from your bank where they ask you to click on a link it might direct you to a malicious website.

Install a security tool that will always inform you if your computer is at risk. So once you open an email or click on that link the tool will immediately notify you that you have clicked on a malicious link and than it will bock it before it runs. See more here.

Communicate only with websites that begin with ‘https://’. That shows that the website is safe and that all the data you submit is processed safely.

So, make sure that you always check your accounts for any irregularities and remember that if you have a slightest doubt in the validity of an email-don’t open it.

Don’t forget to install a security software that will be your silent safeguard so, even if you don’t recognize a phishing email and by accident you open one, the security software will always keep your back and stop you from being infected.

Happy Safe Holidays!

How to remove adware from your PC

If you are reading these lines chances are that either you are infected with an adware or you have been infected at one point and now you would like to remove it.

If you are having random pop-ups appear on your screen ever time you open a site or you always see a presence of different kind of ads and redirects it means that you must have clicked on a very interesting link while surfing the Web and then suddenly it’s was not so interesting anymore because your PC got infected with an adware.

How you get infected with an adware?

The adware is usually bundled with freeware software and installed on your computer without you being aware. These kind of infections are usually distributed through different freeware software during installation. So once you install a free software that had bundled into their installation an adware you will get infected.

There is plenty kind of adware in the malware market but most of us will agree that the most annoying ones are the ones that change your browser settings and than redirect your search to different kind of websites. Also called browser hijackers, this type of malware can slow webpage loading, cause seeing multiple toolbars on your web browser, getting different pop-up advertisements and etc.

How to remove adware from your PC?

Manually removing browser hijackers is quite complicated and there is a possibility that you might not remove it completely.

You can do it manually or by just uninstalling the software but it will not restore your browser to original settings. Therefore you must take additional actions to clean your browser.

Here is a quick and free solution:

STEP 1: Download Zemana Antimalware here.
STEP 2: Press “Scan” button.
STEP 3: When the scan is complete, click “Next”.
STEP 4: Restart your computer if you are prompted to do so.

Check out the YouTube video to see how Zemana AntiMalware removes a hardcore browser hijacker.

Use Zemana AntiMalware and in minutes your problem is history.‪ You PC will be adware-free.

Are constant data breaches making people lose trust in technology?

“In today’s digital business environment, trust is built on two major components: ethics and security. Trust is the cornerstone of the digital economy.” – Accenture Technology.
The Internet Society (ISOC), expressed a concern that constant data breaches are seriously affecting people’s trust in technology.
Digital trust is actually not a process but rather a result of  secure relationships  and communications between companies, end users, partners and employees.
Security experts are continuously underlying that empowering digital trust doesn’t only mean investing in technology but rather in organizational’s mindset, which constantly develops and adjusts to ever accelerating threats.

In the Global Internet Report 2016 released by ISOC it was highlighted that there should be more incentives for breached organizations in order for them to invest in cyber security otherwise the breaches will continue. 

In just first half of this year there was 3.04 million compromised records which means that 35 records were compromised every second. This fact about compromised data presents a failure in cyber-security investments.

Since the amount of data breaches are in an tremendous increase over the years, the logical and expected consequence is customers loosing trust in technology. According to a new research conducted by Centrify 66% of U.S., 75% of U.K. and 57% of German consumers are likely to stop doing business with a hacked organization.

Consumers admit that, nowadays, they are more likely to expect from a business to be hacked and not to be protected. On the other side, half say that businesses are taking care for their customer’s online security.

Even thought investing in cyber security is a must for businesses, only 1 out of 3 organizations is actually planning to do so.

CEO, Olaf Kolkman, of The Internet Society (ISOC), highlighted few recommendations for organizations in order for them to avoid cyber attacks in the future and to keep digital trust stable.  One of them is related to transparency of data breaches. He believes that transparency about cyber security and incidents in this field should be a must and that people worldwide have to be aware about these matters.

He also refereed to the fact that businesses and government should work more in this field and come up with a strategic plan which will help decrease the data breach stats.

Organizations have to work on the company’s mindset when it comes to cyber security. Besides securing their network, they need to keep their programs always up-to-date, their communication channels secure and most importantly to share awareness among the employees how to deal with online cyber threats and social engineering.

If this trend continues to grow it is clear that if businesses don’t reduce the risk of a cyber-attack they will reduce the number of their customers. Loosing customers for a company also means loosing money. Better invest a small part of that money in cyber security and never experience a data breach again.

Stay safe.

Zemana AntiMalware is your #1 protection strategy against ransomware

As Cyber world grows bigger every day, cyber security problems grow with the same speed and in some cases even faster. Ransomware has become one of the biggest problem in cyber world and number one security problem for organizations and individuals as well.

It doesn’t request advanced hacking skills and the “pay” is good. Easy money in short.

This has brought that ransomware variants increase every year massively and it doesn’t show any signs of stooping.  Since December last year security researchers recorded a growth of 600% in new ransomware families.

With regards to pay outs,  in last year victims paid in ransom around 24 million USD. In the first quarter of this year victims payed closed to $209 million and security researchers estimated that by the end of 2016 it will reach up to 1 billion USD.

Here are some more facts:

However, as much as it is important to share awareness on ransomware and the impact it can produce it is even more important to have good security tools that can help you defeat it easily.

In October 2016, Avlab.pl tested and analyzed various security tools in the market in order to find the one that can provide the best ransomware protection and make individuals and organizations worry-free. The objective of the test was to check a real protection provided by security software against threats of crypto-ransomware to home users and small and medium businesses.

They have tested, various security tools which are available in the market, with default settings and in an identical test environment under same conditions and on the same basis.

For testing, Avlab.pl has used 28 malicious software files of crypto ransomware while among others there were: Cerber, CryptXXX, DetoxCrypto, Hitler Ransomware, HolyCrypt, Locky, Numecod, Petya, Jigsaw,Vipasana, Stampado and many others.

In the category for home users, Zemana AntiMalware is one of the applications that got the highest score. You can read the full report here.

Just recently, also MRG Effitas, UK independent security test house, conducted a test where they have analyzed different kind of globally known security products where Zemana AntiMalware claimed the top spot and proved to be the best ransomware protection in the market. Read full report here.
Even though ransomware is on rise, the good news is there are security tools that can help you defeat rit easily. Besides, there are some must have tips to follow in order to avoid it effectively.
Stay safe!

What are bootkits and rootkits and why are they so scary?

While it’s hip and trendy to write and talk about ransomware variants, we should also not forget to spread the word on malware that is located deep into a machine’s boot process or firmware and which can get unrestricted access to the entire computer. The ones that keep malware analyst bump their head on the wall and make them want to change their career and run far away from everyone and everything.
So, what are these nightmare viruses that make malware analysts go crazy?
They are called: Rootkit and Bootkit. Doesn’t say a lot so here is a little bit info.
A Bootkit infects the Master Boot Record (MBR) with its ability to get load into the Windows Kernel and bypassing full volume encryption, because the Master Boot Record is not encrypted. The master boot record holds the decryption software which asks for a password and decrypts the drive. The “special” feature of bootkit is that it cannot be detected by usual means of an operating system because all its components reside outside of the standard file systems.
A Rootkit is a program and sometimes even a set of programs that hides and embeds itself deep into computers operating system and allows remote users to operate and control the computer’s operating system.  While rootkit opens the door to areas which are forbidden to unauthorized users it also has the possibility to hide presence of its existence.
“Root” stands for a UNIX/Linux term that’s the equivalent of Administrator in Windows and “kit” refers to the software components.
They have been around for 20 years but once they have been found they didn’t have any malicious character but over a while cyber criminals found the nature of rootkits as very interesting and useful for malicious attacks.
What is the biggest issue?
Due to their possibility to hide very deep and to embed themselves into the operating system in such a way that allows many legitimate and important function calls and data to be passed through their oversight it can be very hard to remove them. Some researchers made it simpler to understand by comparing it to a hard-water filter installed on your water pipe system right outside of the point where the water enters your house.  So, in case you remove this filter, a problem will emerge with your water correctly getting into your house.  The same goes with a rootkit. You cannot remove it that easily since you can break some vital functionality of the operating system and make create even worse damage. Removal is not easy and when dealing with  these kinds of infections removal may require specialized software tools.
Zemana Labs spend a lot of time and invested years of experience in order to create the best possible rootkit and bootkit remediator. Due to the high malicious nature of the infection Zemana made it free to end users so they can effectively remove deep embedded rootkits and rootkits without damaging any vital functionalities of the operating system.
MRG Effitas defined it as the best rootkit remediator.
Download Zemana AntiMalware Free here.
To have proactive protection and never let any of these infections get near your PC install Zemana AntiMalware Premium and stay worry free.
Stay safe!