Spams and phishing emails are the most common method for the malware hackers to gain access to users’ credentials. its become so vicious and we have to be wary of clicking anything on the Internet. Malware authors create genuine looking spam emails to trick users to open the emails and the infectious attachment or the link that comes along with it. Most of the times, we get convinced and we end up clicking on the attachments and get directed to malicious websites or give way for the malicious criminals to install a malware code. So what could be the best possible cue to know if the link is malicious or genuine
#1 Shortened Links
There are these link shortening services like bit.ly which have been popularly used to fit social media compliance. However, malware authors and distributors also implement link shortening methods to hide out the actual destination of their links
The actual target place of the link can be viewed by using some specific tools by not clicking on the link.
#2 Links through unsolicited emails
Email that claims to be from a reputed bank with a subject line – “Verify Your Information” or “Enter your Information”, then it’s a phishing email Though the link mentioned in the email looks genuine, avoid clicking it as it might be a phishing mail mimicking to be genuine. If you want to visit a bank website, enter the address manually on the address bar.
#3 If you find a bunch of strange characters in it
Most of the times malware authors try and hide the actual destination of the malicious sites by implementing a technique called URL Encoding. By doing so, malware hackers can conceal commands and other malicious activities within the link so that the users cannot read it nor understands it. Hence in case, if you find a combination of % symbols, be wary of the URL.
#4 Scan the Link with a Link Scanner
There is a range of link scanning tools that can be used to validate the security of the link even before clicking the link. There are many such scanning tools like Comodo SIteInspector, ScanURL and others.
#5 Enable the Real-time or Active Scanning Option in Your Antimalware Software
Real-time or Pro-active scanning should be done to stay ahead of malware infection. This might eat up more system resources once this option is turned on.
#6 Keep Your Virus Protection/Antivirus Software Up to Date
If you have installed any Antivirus software, ensure to keep the software updated with the latest virus definitions. This is done to protect the system even from the latest threats. Enable auto-update of the virus definition on a regular basis. Keep a check of the last update of the software to be sure that the auto updates are taking place as per the agenda.
#7 Consider Adding a Second Opinion Malware Scanner
Ensure there is another malware scanner as the second line of the protection mechanism. By any chance, if the main antivirus software fails to detect the malware presence, the second malware scanner would assist in scanning the malware. By this way the malware will not be able to escape detection.
Top 6 Tools for Investigating Malicious URLs
1. Comodo cWatch – cWatch Web Security uses a range of detection methods to identify threats on your website. Comodo cWatch delivers efficient client website security possible. It takes control on the complete process of security investigation and monitoring for both cloud and on-premises and even hybrid environments. This provides controlled security, software as a service (SaaS) solution. It ensures to provide security expertise to enable quick recovery. It ensures absolute security posture and helps to recover from security breaches and other security attacks.
It ensures Malware removal, security information and event management, managed web application firewall, Content delivery Network, and 24/7 Cyber Security Operations Centre.
2. AlienVault OTX – Open Threat Intelligence Community is available only to registered users of Open Threat Community. Which is free to Join. It instantly helps to identify compromised endpoints by deploying OTX E
Once the AlienVault Agent is installed on the device, it starts to identify threats instantly
Users can select and launch a predefined query on any endpoints from OTX.
AlienVault Agent executes the query and the end result of the query is displayed on a summary page within OTX.
The threat hunting tool is completely free that provides threat Intelligence Power as OTX Endpoint Threat Hunter. And can scan endpoints for known indicators of compromise (IOCs)
3. Any.Run is an interactive malware analysis scanner that allows the users to analyse and investigate on the suspicious or malware files in a secure virtual environment. With this tool, users can upload files and have interactions real-time in a sandboxed environment. Above all, installation is not required.
Frees version supports Windows 7 32-bit as a virtual sandboxed environment and it does not extend its support to analyze the functions of a 64-bit files.
Maximum size of the file can be 16 Megabyte
Files that are uploaded to the service are available to be downloaded by any third person – this raises concern with regards to confidentiality
4. BrightCloud is a malware analyses tool that is next in the list and gives a clear view of complete threat, content, and reputation analysis. It assures to secure individuals and businesses by delivering pre-defined online threat intelligence support in a virtually connected world. It terminates malicious inbound traffic.
5. Kaspersky Virus Desk
Kaspersky VirusDesk is yet another malware analyses tool that checks the files for antivirus and reputation database. It gives a clear report on the identified threats and rolls out complete information about them.
It comes up with the following results:
If there are no threats found – The report reveals that the file is safe while it also says that there are no threats detected.
In case if the file seems to be suspicious or infected. It notifies the user that a threat has been detected. The file is unsafe to use, receive and share.
This scanning tool can scan files that can be maximum of 50MB in size.
6. IBM X-Force Research
It is yet another well-known and efficient commercial security research system. It is a cloud-based threat intelligence platform that channels out to share information on the most latest threats, delivers responsive solutions, etc.