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How Businesses Can Unwittingly Become Launch-Pads for Malware Attacks



Cyber-criminals frequently gain access to their target companies through the secondary route of a supplier or contact with vulnerable security. By infiltrating the supply chain, criminals can place malicious code amongst a company’s digital files. As all types of documents such as PDF files, are accessed and circulated in thousands of e-mail attachments during the course of a normal working week, a company can unwittingly distribute the malware. Cyber-criminals often wait patiently for months until the code is eventually sent to their prime targets. Becoming the Trojan horse of an orchestrated cyber-attack can be catastrophic for a company’s reputation.

Infected Files

To distribute malware, criminals often make a subtle alteration of just one or two bytes to a file sent through an e-mail attachment. The most dangerous code is usually embedded in Word, Excel or PDF files, although it has also been discovered in Flash and JavaScript. Even encrypted files, so frequently used between professionals to prevent third party access, can easily be adapted and used to distribute malicious code. At least 90% of cyber attacks successfully activate when an apparently innocent e-mail attachment is opened, enabling the code to trick its way past traditional anti-virus and sand-boxing systems.

File Regeneration

File regeneration, or content disarm and reconstruction, is an effective solution against malicious code. The procedure investigates files to a minimal byte level in seconds, sanitising its entire contents to provide reassuring safety. The process also provides a valuable insight into methods such as code adaptation and vector shifting that cyber-criminals are using to distribute malware. Any business can unwittingly become the source of a cyber-attack, but by using the latest technological security, files and reputation can be protected from disaster.

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