In the dead of winter, thoughts turn toward springtime, but malware never takes a break — no matter the season. Phishing scams, Trojan horses, and the hacking of popular social media sites like Facebook and Snapchat combine to put a little fear into the heart of the Internet user. Mobile malware, especially on the Android platform, continues to be a growing scourge.
The spring is a good time for computer users to take steps to ensure their antivirus software stays up to date. The top Internet viruses consistently see fresh updates trying to get around the latest advancements from the antivirus world.
Internet Explorer Flaw Leads to Spread of New Virus
A February 2014 report from Reuters details the spread of a computer virus facilitated by hackers exploiting a flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser. The hack targets IE 10, redirecting unsuspecting users to a web page leveraging some malware inserted into an Adobe Flash program. Hackers broke into the Veterans of Foreign Wars website to insert the link to the web page with the Flash malware, with a suspected hope of garnering military intelligence information from veterans.
Microsoft said that Internet Explorer 11 includes an enhanced security tool kit that protects users from web pages laden with nefarious viruses and malware.
Google Redirect Virus Annoys Users
While there is no one “Google redirect” virus, many top Internet viruses employ the same web browser redirect scheme that loads something that looks like the Google front search page. The purpose of this virus is to generate ad revenue. Thankfully, removing this virus is a relatively easy task for users with infected computers.
Watch Out for Flappy Bird Malware on Android Devices
A scourge of apps that look like the popular game Flappy Bird are infecting Android-powered smartphones and tablets with malware. Most of these apps come from third-party app stores, so Android users would be wise to use the Google Play store for their app downloads. While not an Internet virus per se, Android malware is a growing problem, and users need to remain vigilant.
Computer and smartphone users need to install antivirus software and regularly keep it up to date, especially those devices powered by Windows and Android. It pays to stay ahead of the hackers throughout the year!