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The motives behind malware vary from nation-state involvement to a frustrated user. Perhaps it is the classic “corporate theft” motive, whereby an evil boss is sick of his boss telling him what to do and wants to do the same thing. Or perhaps it’s an individual seeking to prove his/her skills. Alternatively, the perpetrator may just find something interesting to learn.

Security experts can break down any malware into key parts, categorizing the motivation for developing and deploying it, since there are different types of threats from viruses to malware and ransomware so using expert services to avoid this is the best option. In this article we’ll look at how malware evolves and exploits for vulnerabilities are applied in the digital world.

Innovation

Ever since they were created, malware developers have been trying to find new and innovative ways to gain access into computers and phones. Even when someone breaches the security of an organization, the criminals have a tendency to go beyond basic intrusion techniques to develop even more advanced techniques to defend the enterprise.

Today malware utilizes these same security vulnerabilities to deliver its payload. Often, malicious software behaves in a slightly different manner to a regular malware. To gain access to the target computer, the malware takes a few seemingly benign steps.

Examine System This malware example is a type of bootkit, which is malware that interacts with the system in order to prepare the computer for execution of its payload. This malware example is particularly interesting in that it launches an installer that installs its payload on the target machine.

Remote Access Agent Some malware examples attempt to set up a session with a remote server by exploiting an existing program that has an authenticated session with the server.

Tethered Phone One of the most important parts of the malware packer is the tool that triggers its execution. For example, a phone can be used as a tethering or remote access point.

Exploit

The attack component of the malware is what attackers spend the majority of their time working on. Sometimes the attackers choose to use an existing exploit or tool. Other times, they work on their own to create new attacks, such as some malware authors use for breaking into corporate networks. Regardless, the malware creators don’t spend all of their time developing the attack component. Instead, malware makers choose to create a variety of interesting techniques for executing their malware to spread quickly.

Some examples of exploit systems include:

Windows Payload Exploit It can take many forms but a basic payload for Windows XP can usually be constructed in a matter of minutes.

Exfiltrate File For Windows systems, the most commonly used file for exfiltration are those that contain sensitive information such as certificates or bank information.

Screen Capture Malware can utilize a variety of screens to transfer information to the attacker.

If the malware authors are planning to deploy their malware globally, they must have a means to execute their attacks outside of their local networks. Often, the methods used for this include local privilege escalation, leveraging vulnerabilities and infecting legitimate systems on a local network.