What Is Zero-Click Malware?
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What Is Zero-Click Malware?

In the past few years, zero-click attacks have become more rampant than ever before. Zero-click attacks, as the name suggests, are phishing scams that don’t require any action from the victim. This means that even the most experienced internet users can fall victim to these cyberattacks.

Zero-click attacks use sophisticated tricks and are highly targeted. The attacks are 10X riskier than the normal cyberattacks and can have severe consequences without the affected person even realizing it. It requires extra vigilance and anti-cyber attack technology to detect and thwart zero-click malware attacks.

Why is Zero-Click Malware dangerous to your business?

In most cases, spying software depends on the ability to convince targeted individuals to click a specific file or link in order to install it on a computer, tablet or mobile phone. But with zero-click attacks, the software can be installed on a device without the knowledge of the victim. This makes zero-click malware more dangerous than any other cyberattack.

One of the things that make zero-click malware dangerous is the minimal interaction involved. This makes threat monitoring even more difficult because the attacks leave minimal or no malicious activity. Even the most basic zero-click attacks leave very little activity. Besides, the IT solutions or features designed to make the software more secure can sometimes make zero-click malware difficult to detect.

Although zero-click attacks have been in existence for many years, they have become common because of the increased use of smartphones that contain a lot of personal data. As internet technology continues to advance, there’s a need for both individuals and organizations to be more vigilant about zero-click attacks.

How do Zero-Click attacks work?

Normally, a remote infection of the targeted mobile device will need some kind of social engineering where the user has to click on a malicious file or link to install the malware. But this is not the case with zero-click attacks that don’t require any form of social engineering.

Zero-click hackers often explore flaws in a computer or device. They then take advantage of the loopholes in data verification to get into your system. Most IT solutions use data verification processes to combat cyberattacks. But there are constant zero-day vulnerabilities that hackers can always maneuver to access your system.

In most cases, zero-click attacks target mobile applications that offer messaging and voice calling services. This is because such services are meant to receive interpret data from insecure sources. Attackers normally use formed data like hidden text messages to introduce codes that compromise the device.

A typical cyber-attack works like this:

A cybercriminal identifies a vulnerability in a messaging app or email

He exploits the vulnerability by sending a message to the target

The vulnerability allows the actor to infect the computer or device remotely through an email that uses a lot of memory

The email or message from the hacker won’t necessarily remain on the computer or mobile device

Consequently, the cybercriminal is able to read, leak or edit emails or messages

The attack can come in the form of an authentication request, text message, a series of network packets, Video conferencing session, MMS, voicemail or phone call.

Examples of Zero-Click Malware

There have been several high-profile zero-click attacks in recent years. The most notable ones include:

Apple zero-click, forced entry: A Bahrein human rights activist had his iPhone hacked in 2021 by powerful spyware. The hack attracted world attention because it targeted a newly-launched iPhone 12 Pro (Read the full story here ---> https://techcrunch.com/2021/08/24/nso-pegasus-bahrain-iphone-security/)

WhatsApp breach: The breach happened in 2019 and was initiated by a missed call that exploited a flaw in WhatsApp’s code framework (Read the full story here ---> https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2019/05/24/whatsapps-massive-security-flaw-serves-to-remind-us-the-limits-of-consumer-encryption-apps/?sh=718cc7c71e3e)

Jeff Bezos: In 2018, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salam is said to have sent Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO a WhatsApp video message that allegedly contained a piece of code that allowed the sender to extract some information from Bezos’ iPhone (Read the full story here ---> https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/22/technology/jeff-bezos-hack-iphone.html)

How can you protect yourself from zero-click attacks?

Cybersecurity experts assert that practicing observing basic cyber hygiene can significantly increase your online safety. Here are some of the precautions you can take:

Always download apps from official stores

Ensure all your firmware, apps and operating systems are always up to date

Use strong passwords

Get rid of any apps that you are no longer using

Back up your systems regularly

Avoid “rooting” or “jailbreaking” your phone since doing so removes the in-built security.

Why 10X?

Allow our team of experts at 10X Consulting Group help you in developing a secure cloud-based system with planned backup strategies to avoid cyberattacks, protect your company data and save you time, money and headaches!

Call 704-931-1056 or e-mail Sales@10xcg.com


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