Movies, TV series, live sports … on streaming you can find almost everything, and it is “free”! But there is the flip side of the coin, because in reality everything has its price and that of a video on watched streaming could be very salty. In fact, it is reported that access to the countless “pirate” sites in question is the first cause of infection with viruses and malware in Italy. In the most lenient of cases, these are programmed to annoy the victim and slow down their computer by bombarding it with unwanted windows and popups; in the worst (perhaps) to blackmail them out of hundreds of Euros. But let’s come to the ranking of the most active viruses and malware in recent times according to ESET, a security company that detects the most tenacious cyber threats in the world on a monthly basis.

  1. In first place, with 31.97% of total attacks in July, is JS/Chromex.Submelius., which strikes using streaming sitesas a vector. Windows that suddenly open, signaling the presence of terrible viruses in the computer or the existence of simple methods to get “incredible earnings working from home”. Well, if any of you clicked on it, you might be in trouble now! Because by opening such fake ads and alerts the malware directs the user to malicious pages for the system. The most vulnerable users, in this particular case, are Google Chrome users. JS/Chromex.Submelius, in fact, packages a special extension of the popular browser, which, if naively installed, systematically redirects the victim to websites full of advertisements and malicious content.
  2. Second in the ranking, but with a wide gap (6.01%), JS/Danger.ScriptAttachment. A truly ruthless JavaScript! It creeps into the computer via email in the form of an attachment, downloading and installing in the machine of the unwise who dare to install it a whole series of Malware, mostly composed of crypto-ransomware. Among these there is Locky, a notorious cyber-robber able to encrypt the data inside the hard disk and ask, in exchange for the decryption, money ransoms!
  3. Former star of December 2015 -where it had come to reap 50% of victims in Italy- today with “just” 4.11% of active infections we find the Win32/TrojanDownloader.Nemucod trojan. Its technique is to redirect the browser of the “prey” to a specific url containing ransomware. Malware code usually lurks in HTML pages.
  4. Fourth position for HTML/FakeAlert (2.94%), a Trojan that storms the affected browser with false warnings about viruses that need to be removed urgently.
  5. In last place is JS/Adware.AztecMedia(1.89%), adware whose hunting habitat is HTML pages. Its specialty, again, is to target sufferers with hundreds of unwanted advertisements.

Having drawn up the sad classification, here are a couple of tips especially valid for the less “experienced”. Be extremely careful when clicking content on any type of internet page. Never download from unknown sites, don’t open suspicious attachments and, above all, don’t install programs you are not 100% sure about the reliability of the source. Always keep your antivirus up-to-date and trust it alone, absolutely avoiding clicking on the “infected computer” ads that appear on the net with the sole purpose of alarming you and making you fall into a trap…

… and keep grandparents, children and drunks (unaccompanied) off the web!

Marcello Argenti