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Fileless Malware – The Under-the-radar Cybersecurity Attack

It looks like there’s already a new wrinkle to consider when sizing up your cybersecurity posture for 2021. Although it has been around roughly 25 years, fileless malware is expected to be a tool used more frequently by cybercrooks this year. Fileless malware is a type of malicious software that uses legitimate programs to infect a computer. It does not rely on files and leaves no footprint, making it challenging to detect and remove.  

Fileless malware attacks legitimate Windows programs like PowerShell and MWI, so commands executed by these default programs are assumed to be safe. This malware slips past security scans because it’s loaded directly through system memory and can have free reign over the operating system.  

Fileless attacks like fileless malware use a technique called living-off-the-land. This occurs when attackers use legitimate tools for malicious purposes. The abused tools are known as LOLBin’s and can include Microsoft Office Macros, PowerShell, WMI and other system tools.  

Once fileless malware leverages these trusted, legitimate processes running on the operating system to perform malicious activities like lateral movement, privilege escalation, evasion, reconnaissance, and delivery of payloads.  

Fileless malware is challenging to detect and guard against because of the nature of its attack. It depends on tools that are a part of the daily workflow of enterprise professionals, and attackers know they can rely on a set of tools that are pre-installed on every Windows machine 

Don’t let cybercriminals turn your Windows machines against your operations. Contact 2W Tech today to get started with your Cybersecurity Compliance Program and let our IT consultants do the work for you. 

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