Network Management Tools (also known as Network Configuration Software) is a set of programs used to examine the traffic, proxies and other information going through the network. These tools can monitor everything that goes through central servers. Also, they can analyze this data without a need to install something on the system. Some part of Network Management Tools can be used to change device configurations and apply them to specific requirements. After altering computer’s network settings, Network Configuration Software can make the system vulnerable to various attacks. Such software is considered untrustworthy and malicious.
The most dangerous activities caused by malicious Network Management Tools:
- Identifying what devices are present on a network and disabling them;
- Checking network components, analyzing the traffic and monitoring information that is spread over the network;
- Disabling the Firewall or other security measures without user's approval;
- Altering system settings and allowing communications from untrusted external sources.
Each of these activities can initiate the loss of sensitive information or make the system vulnerable to different kinds of viruses. In the worst case scenario, Network Management Tools can involve the affected PC system into the distribution network of other cyber threats.
Viruses that infiltrate computers after the malicious NMT disables the firewall:
Here are the main threats spread with the help of fraudulent versions of Network Management Tools:
- Trojan horse. Viruses that belong to this category are mostly used for stealing sensitive information, such as logins, passwords, and other personally identifiable information. However, they can also download other malware to the system without user's approval or give their owners an ability to connect to the system remotely. All viruses that are listed below can be installed by a Trojan horse on the system.
- Ransomware. Cyber infections that belong to 'ransomware' category are mostly set to encrypt valuable people's data. They use advanced algorithms, so it is impossible to decrypt this information without having a specific decryption key. In exchange for giving this key for the victim, ransomware viruses ask to pay a ransom via Paypal and other payment systems. Typically, the payment should be made in a form of bitcoins. Such threats can also try to present themselves as reputable authorities (FBI, Police, etc.) and make their victims pay fines for their illegal activity on the Internet. In most of the cases, victims are accused of the use of copyrighted content, distribution of malware, visiting illegal websites and similar activities.
- Rogue anti-spyware. Rogues are capable of showing fake system scanners and security notifications. After displaying a fake system scan, they report about invented viruses and other PC-related problems. By doing so, they try to scare their victims into purchasing their full versions that are fake. Once the developers of such programs receive the payment, they disable their virus for some time. Some versions of rogue anti-spyware programs can also be used for spreading other viruses and redirecting people to fake websites.
- Adware. No matter that such software is considered 'potentially unwanted', it can cause serious havoc on a computer and lead its owner to various troubles. Mostly, such programs infiltrate computers as optional components of other software and modify the system. As a result, they get an ability to cause annoying pop-up notifications and redirects to required websites. Besides, such programs can start collecting non-personally identifiable information, such as user's search terms, email address, computer's IP address, its location and similar data.
- Browser hijacker. This software is also known as 'potentially unwanted'. However, the fact that such programs are capable of showing altered search results filled with commercial content has been bothering PC security experts. Besides, browser hijackers can also redirect their victims to predetermined websites that, in most of the cases, are unsafe. The most of the browser hijackers are installed on computers in a bundle with freeware and shareware. In this case, people are not aware that they are letting questionable components enter their computers.
How can I protect myself?
- Get rid of useless software and disable unimportant services. Make sure you disable default features and uninstall programs that are unnecessary to you to decrease the opportunity of being attacked. You should go thru all the features that are enabled by default and disable the ones that you are not planning to use. Security experts highly recommend paying attention to file sharing and print sharing services that help people to share their files via the network. The same goes with unnecessary software. Don't forget to backup important data before removing the software to prevent the essential components of the operating system.
- Rely on secure networks. Connecting computer to the internet is the same as linking it to thousands of other machines. To protect information flows via the network, it is recommended to secure the router before connecting it to the network as it is the first device that can be protected. No matter that modems are the first devices receiving information from the Internet, they doesn’t have security settings needed for data protection.
- Use the Firewall. This is a tool used to control the flow of information between the PC and the Internet. You can find the firewall in the latest operating systems and home routers or you can install one from the Internet. However, you should always make sure that it is enabled and configured properly if you want to protect your system from unwanted changes and attacks.
- Install Antivirus and Anti-spyware software. Malicious Network Configuration Software can cause infiltration of different viruses, malware and other dangerous programs. To keep the computer completely safe and prevent the loss of your personal information, make sure you install a reputable security software. Security experts also recommend enabling automatic updates to prevent infiltration of the newest viruses that can easily get into the system by exploiting security vulnerabilities on computer. Our recommended programs that can help you to prevent network attacks are these security tools: Reimage and PlumbytesWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus. Once you install any of these programs on your computer, make sure that you update it to its latest version right away.
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