Kaspersky: Malware can hide textbooks and essays

Google Interstitial Warnings

Kaspersky Lab researchers recently released a report saying that downloading learning materials from the Internet will bring great cyber risks. The researchers analyzed malware with educational-related file names encountered by Kaspersky users during the 2018 school year.

Google Interstitial Warnings

The report pointed out that the total number of such attacks is as high as 356,000. Malware is often disguised as a thesis or textbook: “Of these, 233,000 cases were malicious essays that were downloaded to computers owned by more than 74,000 people and that our solutions managed to block. About a third of those files were textbooks: we detected 122,000 attacks by malware that was disguised as textbooks. More than 30,000 users tried to open these files. English textbooks hiding malware were most popular among K-12 students with 2,080 attempted downloads. Math textbooks were the next most common, nearly infecting the computers of 1,213 students. Literature closes out the top three most dangerous subjects with 870 potential victims.”

The most popular malware is “MediaGet torrent application downloader,” “WinLNK.Agent.gen downloader,” “Win32.Agent.ifdx malware downloader,” and “Stalk worm“. The report highlights the Stalk worm. The virus is mainly spread through spam. Once a device is successfully infected, the virus will also automatically propagate to the USB flash drive connected to the device, as well as devices on the same network. In addition, Stalk can send emails to the victim’s contacts for self-propagation. Experts suggest that users should be vigilant at all times, refuse to use unreliable websites, and update security patches in a timely manner.