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Halloween Special: Spookiest Malware of 2016
October 27, 2016

Halloween Special: Spookiest Malware of 2016

Happy Halloween from the Sierra Experts team!

For anyone working in IT, there are things that are scarier than ghosts and ghouls, like malware. 2016 has been a busy year for cybercrime, so picking the worst threats is not an easy task. Below, we’ve rounded up the spookiest malware this year.


The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a big topic of discussion this year. Whether you love the idea of smart homes and businesses, or fear the huge security holes it presents, it’s not going away anytime soon.

The ‘Mirai’ malware took over IoT connected devices to create a massive botnet. Then, through that botnet, it served an overwhelming distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on Dyn DNS servers.

What does that mean? Half of the internet went down, all at once. Until IoT security requirements become stricter, there’s a good chance this will happen again.

Locky Ransomware

Ransomware itself has been on the rise, to catastrophic levels in 2016. This type of malware holds victims’ files hostage in exchange for Bitcoin, a type of digital currency.

Locky ransomware has many variants, and has evolved every time new security measures are introduced to defeat it. In its most recent variant, Locky spreads through spam campaigns, and uses the .Thor extension.

While Locky asks for the lowest ransom, it also has the highest number of victims per day.

Tech Support Scams

While not the most sophisticated attack, tech support scams have become increasingly believable. Tech support scams use social engineering to fool users into installing malware.

One example uses a fake Microsoft Security Essentials installer. The user will then see a blue screen of death (BSoD) almost identical to the real version from Microsoft, with an 800 number to call for support. The scariest part of the malware, is that people actually fall for it.

ZDNet says that those between the ages of 18-34 years fell for tech support scams half of the time.

This is just a short list of the scariest threats this year. From the Sierra team, we hope that the scariest thing about Halloween this year is your costume, not your network security.

Why not celebrate Halloween with a free consultation? Contact us to get started.

Sierra Experts is an IT Managed Service and Support provider, specializing in remote monitoring and remote management of computing systems, cloud/virtual systems hosting, VoIP/SIP PBX trunks and solutions, physical server hosting, software development and hardware and software reselling. For more, check out www.SierraExperts.com