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The Cyber Security Scaries of Halloween

5 Scary Breaches of 2019

  • Café press (23 million)
  • Public transport (15.1 million)
  • Hostinger (14 million)
  • Chile government (14 million)
  • Sweet Chat (10 million)

Top 5 Scary Malware (From July 2019)


Emotet Spreads through spam emails and is a trojan that in the early versions was attached as a malicious JavaScript file. Macro-enabled documents were found in later versions which would pull the malicious payload from a C&C server. When connected to the C&C server the attacker can now perform more attacks, the main one being a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS)


Kovter aims to steal user information so the designer of the malware can make money by selling any information that is gathered. Kovter is a trojan that entices victims into click bait fraud. Once clicked the malware will download deep into the registry of the victim’s computer, which not only makes it hard to detect, but hard to remove. The trojan will then begin to steal personal information which will be sent back to the malicious actor. This trojan has the ability to download more malware to create persistence to any infected machine. This makes the victims device more vulnerable to other hackers.


Zeus is a piece of malware that runs on windows machines. The aim of this malware is to act as a keylogger and primarily targets victim’s banking information. This malware was made to make money for the designer and perform various malicious activities on the victim’s computer. This malware has the capabilities to perform man-in-the-browser attacks and steal information which can later be sold. This malware is also known as ZeuS and Zbot.


NanoCore is a nasty piece of malware that aims to infect as many victims as it can. It is not subtle in its deployment and is usually mass emailed to anyone with a leaked email address. NanoCore is a remote access tool (RAT) that aims to infect systems and gather victim information. The malware is sent out in phishing emails which try to trick the victim to click onto an attachment. These attachments contain malware which immediately infects the system to allow the malicious actor full control over the infected system.


Cerber is one of the most active kinds of ransomware to date. Cerber is delivered in a phishing email as a word document. Once the victim has received this document, they do not even have to be connected to the internet for the machine to infect the system. This is a very sophisticated type of ransomware which demands money in return for encrypted files. Cerber will encrypt all the files of all users on a machine with RC4 and RSA algorithms. These are then renamed to have Cerber extensions. In the later strains of ransomware, a random file extension will be associated to the files that are encrypted.

Top 5 Scary things to look out for

Complex software and attacks

As software becomes more complex and allows users to do more features within one application, then the security implications also rise. There will be more ways that an attacker can exploit a vulnerable piece of software because that is how we are evolving going into the new decade. Attacks are getting more complex by the week. Attackers will now not only phish for information; they will use this information for a wider attack. They will couple different attacks together until they can extract nothing more. Big Data is one of the leading causes for hackers, data is getting much more expensive so to hackers it is a way for them to make a lot of money. Complexity is increasing to extract the most amount of data in the most efficient way.


Ransomware is on the rise. It doesn’t need a very high success rate for attackers to make money, so it is being favoured by malicious attackers and organisations around the world. There have been many types of ransomware in 2019 that use different exploits to get into systems. This could cause a huge problem not only for individuals, but also for organisations who are being targeted by this. It only takes one person to compromise a whole organisation.

Government backed cyber attacks

There has been a lot in the news regarding the involvement of Russia in the US election, but it hasn’t stopped there. There have been nation backer cyber-attacks across all of 2019 which will continue into the new year. There are many factors that are happening across the world that may spark a cyber war in the future. Countries are now pushing the limits with what they are able to do and are over leveraging with their power. Russia with the US elections, Dubai with Iran (DarkMatter) and China with its own citizens! This will continue into the new year as the stability of nations begins to shake and key dates such as US elections, Brexit and more loom.


The introduction of 5G will change how we view security. The race between nations to implement critical infrastructure to support future endeavours means that security is often overlooked. This causes problems for citizens as it is not seen as a priority. These things are often left vulnerable until proved otherwise.


The internet of things is an ever-growing market. More devices have internet capabilities which carry vulnerabilities, which could allow attackers different avenues to explore. These devices could leave the user vulnerable to attacks from vectors they didn’t know could be exploited.

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