Welcome to my blog. In here I hope to share with you tips, tricks, hacks and code that will make your life easier as a network administrator or general computer user. I come with a background in computer engineering and have worked for the past 12 years in the Library world as Manager of Library Systems. Even though some of my posts may be Library specific, most will be of use to all computer users.

If you have a tip that you wish to share with the group, please feel free send me your tip via email at my address rkisch@kischtech.com and I will include it here and give credit where credit is do.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

BlackShades and how to protect yourself from it

Everyone has heard of the new threat from the BlackShades hacking tool that has been causing issues with computers for the past while. Some of ways that you can get infected with BlackShades are:

  • Fake torrent downloads on Person to Person (P2P) sites
  • Malicious links spread on social media sites (Facebook, twitter, etc)
  • Malicious links spread in chat rooms
  • Drive-by attacks
  • Java exploits
  • Spreading via hacked social media/chat accounts
  • Phishing e-mails

So what are some of the things that can happen when your computer is infected with BlackShades? Well in the worst case scenario, a hacker could take control of your computer and hold it for ransom.  What the hacker will do is to encrypt all of your important documents and ask for a ransom to unlock the files or computer. Users of a hacked computer would be shown a page that looks similar to this page:

If you didn't pay the ransom your files would be deleted, left encrypted so that you can't access them or they could be posted openly on the internet which would not be good if your files contained private information such as yearly tax forms.

What are the other things that a hacker could do with BlackShades? Well these are just a few of the many things that they could also do once your computer has been infected:

  • Webcam Control (yes they can secretly take pictures of you and then ransom the pictures)
  • Screenshot/Remote Desktop Control
  • Keylogger (which could steal import passwords to banking and other sites)
  • Proxy manager
  • Download and Execute Files (or more malware)
  • Visit a website numerous times
  • Redirect (to fake banking sites) or Block URLs to online antivirus sites
  • Use victim as a reverse relay, meaning that the attacker can set their browser to connect to the internet through the victim system.
  • Control MSN messenger, including add/remove/msg contacts.
  • Set an alarm for when a certain window title or keyword is present on the victim system
  • Ability to setup a web interface for remote use!
  • And much more!

  • So how can you defend against BlackShades or other hacking software? First and foremost you need to have a really good antivirus program such as Norton Antivirus or BitDefender installed on your computer. Also I would highly recommend that you install MalwareBytes anti-malware software for full protection of your computer system. You can download the free version and scan your computer to make sure that it is free from malware but I would recommend buying the full Pro version to ensure that your computer stays malware free. With the combination of MalwareBytes and a really good antivirus program you should be well protected.