Another RAT in the house – Blackshades

Blackshades is another miserable piece of RAT malware.  A remote administration tool (RAT) allows a remote user to control your system.  Remote control can be used for good reasons like helping you with an IT issue or for bad reasons like stealing your data and hijacking your computer.  Blackshades is bad.

Blackshades is not new – it has been around for years.  The way it infects is not new either – someone gets you to click on a link.  The Blackshades RAT allows criminals to steal passwords and banking credentials; hack into social media accounts; access documents, photos, and other computer files; record all keystrokes; activate webcams; hold a computer for ransom; and use the computer in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

The FBI recently announced more than 90 arrests in 18 countries in the Blackshades Malware Takedown. You can help the FBI in their fight against cyber crime by protecting your computer and quickly identifying infections.

Protect Your Computer

– Keep updated antivirus software on your computer

– Keep your operating system and web browser patched and up-to-date

– Use strong password, don’t use the same passwords for everything and update if a compromise is suspected

– Use a pop-up blocker and malware detector

– Only download software—especially free software—from sites you know and trust (malware can also come in downloadable games, file-sharing programs, and customized toolbars)

– Never, never, never open e-mail attachments in unsolicited e-mails, even if they come from people in your contact list, and never click on a URL contained in an e-mail, even if you think it looks safe. Instead, close out the e-mail and go to the organization’s website directly

Am I infected?

Blackshades malware affects Microsoft Windows-based operating systems by loading files and modifying the system registry.  FBI instructions for finding Blackshades infection.

Here’s a list of possible indicators that your computer may be infected with Blackshades or similar remote access tool malware:

  • Mouse cursor moves erratically with no input from user;
  • Web camera light (if equipped) unexpectedly turns on when web camera is not in use;
  • Monitor turns off while in use;
  • Usernames and passwords for online accounts have been compromised;
  • Unauthorized logins to bank accounts or unauthorized money transfers;
  • Text-based chat window appears on your computer’s desktop unexpectedly;
  • Computer files become encrypted and ransom demand is made to unlock files.

 

About Mary

Mary is the CEO of LAN Systems. She is an electrical engineer who feels her greatest strength is the ability to connect with people. LAN Systems provides IT managed services and solutions to growing companies and non-profit organizations. You can contact Mary at mary@lansystems.com.

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