In today’s day and age, cybercrime is on the up and, as antivirus tools become sophisticated, so do the hackers. The result is a constant and ongoing battle between the computer security organisations and the ever illusive hacker. Behind closed doors and hidden to those that aren’t looking closely enough.
We are led to believe that by installing a good antivirus application on our computers and phones, we can put this perpetual threat behind us and navigate the sprawling oceans of the internet, free from threat of metaphorical pirates. Unfortunately, however, this is not true.
The ‘FUD’ File
As I mentioned earlier, hackers evolve along with current technologies. In fact, it wasn’t long after the launch of antiviruses that hackers devised a way to bypass such measures. This is done by taking a malicious file and running it through encryption software, where various signatures are modified, making the file FUD (or fully undetectable).
Hackers encrypting files prey on the confidence that people place in their antivirus software. This is the reason that it’s imperative to know how to spot a malicious file and how to avoid an infection.
So Antivirus Software is Useless?
No. Antivirus software is still vastly efficient at what it does and a lot of FUD or UD files become detectable in a matter of days. This would mean the attacker would need to keep updating the virus on your computer to keep you infected or a part of a zombie network. Furthermore, many hackers work by dropping and forgetting viruses on various websites and waiting for people to take the bait. Methods like this leave the server open to antivirus detection the more they are automatically scanned by the antiviruses of victims.
In short, while there exists ways to get around an antivirus, it’s still important to have one standing sentry over your computer. Also, don’t worry; there’s plenty you can do to spot most viruses and to keep yourself secure and virus-free.
How to Stay Safe from FUD Files
Avoid Torrent Websites
Torrent websites have seemingly been around for as long as the internet. Yes, they’re definitely a temptation and a means to save money on software. However, they are a hacker’s delight as by uploading cracked software – bound with their virus – they can garner thousands of victims with little-to-no effort on their part. Many installation instructions bundled with these malicious files even ask the downloader to turn off their antiviruses (due to worry about their file becoming detectable after being scanned so much). Any threats that are picked up by the viruses are also dismissed as ‘false positives’ because of the cracking technique. There’s a whole manner of ways for a hacker to spread through torrent sites and to keep you feeling safe while doing so.
Don’t Download Anything you Don’t Trust
Another way these viruses are distributed is by sending them out in emails and leaving links littering the internet. linking to their files. It’s important to exercise common sense when downloading anything from the web and stay extra vigilant when it comes to what you’re downloading. Always use reputed sources and, if you’re recommended a software, visit the official site where available.
A lot of these will be picked up by an antivirus due to the domain. However, always check links closely before you follow them. Hovering over a link will display the destination at the bottom-left of your browser, be sure to check it’s what’s advertised. Additionally, keep a close eye on the URL. By slightly changing the address, hackers can make their fake websites look identical to the real thing.
While an antivirus is a vital part of computer security, you need to sometimes go the extra mile to spot a threat. By always being wary of links and files, you can drastically reduce any chances of infection. Just don’t fully rely on your current threat protection.