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The Eight Most Dangerous Types Of Malware In 2018

CRN asks technical leaders at Microsoft, Malwarebytes and Lastline which types of malware they believe are creating the most chaos for businesses this year.

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Memory-Only Malware

Memory-only malware runs on a user's browser and will keep injecting threads into different Microsoft Edge processes until the user reboots their system, according to Giovanni Vigna, chief technology officer at Redwood City, Calif.-based Lastline. This type of malware is extremely stealthy since it leaves no footprint whatsoever on a user's file system, Vigna said.

Bad actors have been trying to find ways to execute code that won't create an actual file on the system since security tools will likely intercept the system call and scrutinize whatever was written to the file system, Vigna said. There are many tools operating on both Windows and Linux that allow for the execution of malware without actually having to call for the creation of a file system in the OS, he said.

The potential damage from memory-only malware is typically confined to the browser itself, Vigna said, meaning that bad actors can't encrypt files on the system but can steal credentials, inject HTML code, and introduce malicious shell script onto a webpage. If the malware breaks out of browser jail, though, it's then able to do pretty much anything such as encrypting file systems or modifying file settings.

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