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What is Hybrid Malware?

Cyber Security | April 29, 2022
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When it comes to cybersecurity, malware is one of the most prominent threats to data and devices. Malware can fall into many categories including ransomware, spyware, scareware, adware, crimeware, and viruses. It can also include various delivery vectors including worms, Trojans, backdoors, and rootkits. It should be noted that the most common form of malware is not malware itself, but rather a combination of different techniques specifically tailored to a target. This combination of techniques is known as hybrid malware. As a leading provider of cybersecurity services, the team at Next Hop Solutions knows how devastating hybrid malware can be. That is why we have provided some information to help you understand what hybrid malware is, why it is dangerous, and how to defend against it.

Learn about the top 4 cybersecurity threats of 2022.

What is Hybrid Malware and Why is it Dangerous?

Also known as combo malware, hybrid malware is a combination of two or more different types of attacks. This combination is usually a Trojan horse or worm with adware or a virus attached, though other forms exist. Cybercriminals can combine multiple attack techniques to enter a system and install malevolent code or steal data once they are inside, performing multiple functions at the same time.

Unlike traditional malware, hybrid malware utilizes the strengths of various threats (e.g., worms, viruses, spyware, or Trojans) to create a more powerful hazard. For example, a cybercriminal can combine a Trojan and spyware to bypass security programs and easily download spyware onto a target’s computer. This means that hybrid malware can exploit tight defense systems and inflict lasting damage to data and devices without any additional action required from the attacker.

How to Defend Against Hybrid Malware

To ensure that your systems, data, and devices are protected from hybrid malware, it is important to adhere to the following best practices:

  • Use a multilayered defense system equipped with a solid antivirus and anti-malware program. Anti-malware programs will detect and immediately remove the controlling components of the hybrid malware from the memory.
  • Ensure that these programs are properly patched and updated as their effectiveness will be severely diminished if they are out of date.
  • Use a firewall to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic and create a barrier against unwanted or dangerous connections.
  • Utilize an intrusion detection system (IDS) and intrusion prevention system (IPS) to further enhance security.
  • Tighten your browser security/permissions and only use trusted, reputable browsers.
  • Educate your employees about common malware types and how those types can collectively form hybrid malware. Avoid clicking on unusual or unwanted links, do not download unknown files, and ensure that all staff know how to spot a suspicious email.

To learn more about hybrid malware and other types of cybersecurity threats, get in touch with the experts at Next Hop Solutions. Our team can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services or the needs of your business.


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