Security Advisory: Homeland Security and FBI warn businesses of "Avalanche" global hacking infrastructure
IT Support in Seattle

The latest in the non-stop evolution of global cybercrime tactics and methods is “Avalanche”, a large global network hosting infrastructure used by cybercriminals to implement malware and other hacking schemes. This month, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a Technical Alert on Avalanche in the hopes of helping American businesses to prevent it from compromising their data.

So far, hackers have used Avalanche to host and spread a number of different types of malware to their targets in the business world. Effects range from stolen information to encrypted and ransomed data (ransomware), unauthorized remote access to affected systems, Denial of Service (DoS) attacks and more. Using a fast-flux DNS masking technique, Avalanche has so far hosted the following malware:

  • Windows-encryption Trojan horse (WVT)
  • URLzone (aka Bebloh)
  • Citadel
  • VM-ZeuS (aka KINS)
  • Bugat (aka Feodo, Geodo, Cridex, Dridex, Emotet)
  • newGOZ (aka GameOverZeuS)
  • Tinba (aka TinyBanker)
  • Nymaim/GozNym
  • Vawtrak (aka Neverquest)
  • Marcher
  • Pandabanker
  • Ranbyus
  • Smart App
  • TeslaCrypt
  • Trusteer App
  • Xswkit

Here are the vital steps you can take to better prepare your IT security for threats like Avalanche:

  • Equip your business with antivirus and antimalware software to protect against known viruses. Threats like Avalanche are created every day, which is why antivirus and antimalware software providers send out updates regularly to keep your system protected from the latest attacks. Allow your antivirus and antimalware solutions to check for new updates regularly.
  • Update software — especially email spam filters — continuously. Never ignore software update notifications. Just make sure they are legitimate update notices – not spoofed messages. Software updates are not only to improve the functionality of software; they also serve as a patch for recently identified vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.

  • Implement a company-wide policy for regular password change. It may seem simple, but you would be surprised how many businesses still use “password” and “admin” for access to vital systems and data. Be sure to change passwords regularly; they should be varied, hard to guess and never repeated from quarter to quarter
  • Know which emails you should open. As a rule of thumb, never open email attachments from senders that you do not know. In your business, this means educating your staff about the types of email attachments that they should never open to prevent costly malware damages.

The good news is that you don’t have to handle IT security on your own.

As vital as each one of those tasks is for your security, there is still the problem of making sure they are all done on a regular basis. That’s where a trusted partner in IT support can be so helpful. By having an expert team of IT security professionals assess your network and manage its many aspects, you can ensure that your technology is secure, without having to see to it yourself.

The Apex Technology Management team of IT security experts understands that many organizations like yours are often unknowingly operating on outdated security models. Our team will assess your entire environment to identify any opportunities for improvement so that you can enjoy a genuine peace of mind when it comes to protecting your clients’ and employees’ sensitive information.

Want to know more about the IT security services Apex Technology Management offers? Contact us right away at (800) 310-2739 or info@apex.com to get started.

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