Cheat sheets

Best steps to take if you have been hacked or infected with malware

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Cybercriminals and hackers are always looking for unaware victims to infect. It is possible that your computer has been breached by a hacker or a cybercrime gang. In this article we will take a look on which steps you need to take if you have been hacked or infected with malware.

It is important to keep in mind that on each moment your computer could be compromised by a malicious application or user. Computers use codes to operate and there has been a study on how much errors there are crafted in each line of code. To keep it short, in each 1000 lines of codes you will find at least 0.02 codes which have been crafted in a vulnerable way. It is this vulnerability which is often exploited by hackers and cybercriminals. These types of errors can be found in your Adobe applications or your Microsoft Office products.

So let’s take a look at which steps you should take if you think that you have been hacked.

Get off the internet

Cybercriminals and hackers often use remote access Trojans to gain personal information, financial information and classified information from their infected targets. The best thing you should do is to cut your device from the internet.

Disconnect the device from:

  • Your WiFi network
  • Your LAN network
  • Your remote storage devices (USB sticks, remote hard disks)

The big reason behind the disconnection from the internet is the fact that the cybercriminals and hackers will need an connection to the infected device to update the malicious code with commands.

Once the device has been disconnected it will be impossible for the cybercriminal or hacker to send new commands to the infected device.

Understand with what you are dealing with

I have seen it in each type of company environment. People do not take the time to read the messages which are send by the malware or the infected computer. It is known that each type of malicious file has a unique identity. This unique identity allows you to check for resources on the internet which will help you to shut down the malicious code that is running on the infected device.

For example, the ransomware malware variants always demand the user to perform some actions. If you search the internet for the “name of the virus”, you will often find detailed guides on how to remote the malicious code from the infected device.

Trust me, in the fight against malware – Google is your biggest friend.

Download, update and use your antivirus

Do not use the infected device to download any files. It is wise to use another device to download a up to date antivirus scanner. Once you have downloaded the antivirus scanner, put it on a USB stick and put it in the infected computer.

Reboot the infected computer

Now that you have inserted the USB stick you will have to reboot the infected computer and load the “Safe modus” of the Windows product which you are using.

In the safe modus you will be able to navigate to the USB stick. Install the antivirus on the computer via the SAFE modus, once the antivirus has been installed, run the antivirus and wait for the results of the antivirus scan.

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