2017’s High-Profile Malware Groups

Being safe online is always a top priority for parents, educators, and the tech savvy. Unfortunately, malware can strike at any time. These 10 malware groups are the ones to look out for on your computer and your child’s. This list in alphabetical and are not ranked.

1.       CONFICKER

Conficker is a group of “worms” that’s capable of infecting PCs in a Windows system file by exploiting its vulnerabilities. If the installation is successful, the malware disables security products and services. If file-sharing is enabled on the PC, the worm can download additional files and run malicious code.


In the past, this ransomware was considered the largest and most destructive threat on the internet. CryptoWall  is a Trojan that typically shows up in spam emails, compromised websites, or exploit kits. It will encrypt a user’s files before displaying a ransom note with payment instructions for how the victim of the attack can retrieve their data. This ransomware is constantly evolving as well, and is always under development.


While the name is misleading, this powerful rootkit affects machines running Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, AND Windows XP. HackerDefender tricks user into installing it by masquerading as a legitimate software application. Once the malware is downloaded, it installs backdoors onto the system and registers itself as a hidden system service so that it always has access to the machine.

4.       HIDDAD

Hiddad is an Android-based threat. It uses social engineering to trick users into installing fake software applications. The malware undermines security and privacy of a victim by stealing personal and/or financial information. It goes a step further and sends SMS to premium services, creating backdoors, and locking the device for payment.


An extremely sophisticated and well-developed malware, HummingBad compromises Android users via a rootkit and chain-attack technique. For the first half of 2016, this threat dominated the mobile threat landscape.

6.       NECURS

The biggest risk of Necurs is the ability for it to download other malware onto a device. Oftentimes downloaded at the same time as a phony security software, this threat can create backdoors on a machine, thereby granting hackers access to an infected computer. Necurs also disables security software, stealing information and money, and constantly changing to avoid detection.

7.       NIVDORT

Nivdort is a Trojan that arrives on a victim’s computer through a .zip attachment. The threat can steal a victims’ bank information, passwords, and login details for social network sites. In some cases, it can even install other malware onto an infected device.

8.       SALITY

For more than a decade, Sality has been preying on Windows users. It spreads by infecting executable files on local, removable shared drives. Upon successful infection, the malware disables security software, enlists the machine in a peer-to-peer (P2P) botnet, and receives URLs for additional files to download.

9.       TRIADA

Another Android-based malware, Triada infects the device and installs malicious apps as well as aggressive advertising. The threat can infect Android’s Zygote, or the process that controls when apps start and stop on a device. It collects information about the infected phone and conceals itself in the device’s RAM, making detection almost impossible.

10.   ZEUS

ZeuS arrives on users’ machines via spam campaigns or drive-by downloads. It’s primarily designed to steal confidential information including usernames and passwords. However, the malware can also execute additional files, shut down the computer, and delete system files.


Given the persistence of the malware above, it is important to always monitor for unknowns. It isn’t an easy task by any stretch of the imagination, but being able to monitor your device is an important step in preventing an attack happening to you.

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