The Most Advanced Cyber Threats Come from Seemingly Innocent Places

The Most Advanced Cyber Threats Come from Seemingly Innocent Places

Blue Coat


Virtually everything important is done online today, and while the process is much more convenient than in previous years, it also leaves those who are not well-informed incredibly vulnerable to an ever-increasing onslaught of diverse cyber attacks.


For many years, people did not realize the grim reality of the threat posed by hackers. Now, however — with cyber security considered a prevalent and serious issue in modern society — there has been a rise in awareness, with more people and businesses becoming knowledgeable when it comes to basic online risks.


The biggest problem, however, is that as people get wiser to phishing practices, hackers come up with better, more advanced ways to gain access to secure information. While we all might know the importance of not clicking on a popup proclaiming that you’ve won a million dollars, or sending our credit card information to obscure African princes, there are new, more creative practices that cybercriminals are using to fool unsuspecting users.




A growing target for cyber attacks is mobile devices. Smartphones are just about everywhere, and yet most people don't realize just how unprotected they often are. Here are a few of the main techniques to be aware of. Here are a few of the main techniques to be aware of:


Downloading Apps


One of the biggest risks for smartphone users is the download of suspicious apps to their phones. Many people do not realize it — as most of us don’t read the full terms and conditions of each app that we download — but by downloading a certain app, you could be giving the owner access to just about all of your personal information. To prevent this, make sure that you check the section that discusses the access that the app will be given, and if in doubt, only download trusted and well-reviewed apps. You can also get mobile software that will scan every app before full download.


Web Browsing


The easiest way to get a virus on your phone is through internet downloads. Again, mobile antivirus software will help you to decipher which items are safe to download, but common sense is required as well.


PC Hookups


Many people take actions to protect their computers, but not their phones. And although antivirus software can help protect a PC, sometimes bugs will break through, and if your computer has one, it will transfer to your phone if you connect it via USB.






Mobile devices are not the only things that are susceptible to viruses however, and although you might consider yourself wise to most computer cyber attacks, there are a few that have really gained traction in recent years.


Zeus Malware


This specific type of malware depends on our addiction to social media to gain access to our information. Through fake fan pages on social networks, as well as hacked accounts, cyber criminals will gain access to your information by getting you to click on fake links or videos that you think are being shared by your friends.




Another clever and increasingly prevalent malware technique is one that is commonly known as “malvertising.” And it does exactly what it sounds like. Cyber attackers will create ads that look legitimate, sometimes even paying for sponsored ads on high profile websites or on the first page of big search engines, all so that unsuspecting users will click on them.






Phishing is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to cyber crime. And while computer users have grown more wise to the most common phishing tricks, as with all cyber crime, there are now new ways that hackers are stealing information.


Spear Phishing


Spear phishing is particularly dangerous to people in certain groups, such as employees of a large company or organization. Spear phishing involves targeting such an organization specifically and sending out disguised malicious attachments and links to trick its members. About 91 percent of advanced persistent threats (APTs) start with phishing, so it is something that every company should take seriously.






As mentioned, much of what you can do to fight cyber attacks comes down to smart online behavior. Be doubly careful about the things that you click on or download, especially when you are on a mobile device. When it all comes down to it, however, there is only one surefire way to protect your devices: by using the proper security.



For example, over the course of a 3-month period, a major financial institution, deploying a complete advanced persistent threat defense solution from Blue Coat, experienced these statistics:


  • Blocked more than 177 million advanced threats.

  • Analyzed more than 18,000 advanced threats.

  • Remediated less than 100 advanced threats.

The only sure way to protect your network from becoming yet another victim of cyber crime is to protect it using the right tools. Put the power of prevention back in your hands.

Protect yourself and learn more about Blue Coat's Advanced Persistent Threat Protection solutions.