Malware just keeps getting more advanced, as a new iteration of the malicious software has been gaining traction in the cybercrime community.
Protecting yourself online now feels like an impossible task in 2022, with new threats popping up every day. Ransomware threats, security breaches, and phishing scams have become all too common on the web and staying safe is getting harder and harder by the day.
Unfortunately, it’s getting even worse, as a new form of password-stealing malware is potentially infecting dozens of services you already use.
BlackGuard Malware Threat
The new malware threat, dubbed BlackGuard, is troublingly efficient for hackers. It allows them to steal personal and sensitive information from a wide range of apps and services. Then, BlackGuard packages it all into a ZIP file, making it easy to send anywhere the hacker might want to sell it.
Discovered by researchers at Zscaler, the malware is particularly sophisticated, given the kinds of information it can steal – like operating system information, screenshots, and account information – and the breadth of applications it can infect.
“BlackGuard is a growing threat as it continues to be improved and is developing a strong reputation in the underground community.”
Even worse, the malware has become decidedly popular with cybercrime buyers. Researchers found a notable uptick in interest for the malware, which is on the market for $200 per month or a one-time fee of $700.
What Applications are Vulnerable to BlackGuard?
As we mentioned, this is one of the primary reasons BlackGuard is so unsettling; it can gain access to a lot of applications, even ones that pride themselves on security.
For web browsers, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, and dozens of others are all at risk. For email, Outlook is the only one under threat, although it is quite popular, so that’s a lot of potential threats. For messengers, Telegram and Signal are both vulnerable, as well as Discord.
On top of all those services, BlackGuard targets a whole bunch of cryptocurrency wallets and wallet browser extensions. Given crypto’s unregulated status around the world, it’s become a major target for cybercriminals, which makes BlackGuard even more attractive to those buying it on darknet forums.
How to Protect Yourself from BlackGuard
While malware like this sounds scary, there are plenty of ways you can keep yourself safe online. For one, avoid downloading, visiting, or even clicking on anything that could be considered suspicious. Texts, emails, and any message with links in them from people you don't know should always be treated with caution rather than curiosity.
If you’re extra worried about whether or not you can visit a particular site, you might want to invest in antivirus software. The best providers available will often notify you of malicious links and suspicious websites, so you won’t have to be too vigilant when surfing the web.
Finally, a good password is the best defense against any kind of malicious behavior online. Despite most password requirements, experts recommend making your password as long and as random as possible to ensure no hacker can simply guess what it is. And if you want to be even more careful, a password manager is the most efficient way to make sure you won’t be hacked via your login credentials.