New virus attacks all Windows-based computers

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A new type of malware is beginning to circulate and attack nationwide, according to GuardiCore, a vendor of software that detects breaches in real time. And, right now, the malware can be detected by only two anti-virus engines.

“This is new malware capable of running on every Windows version from XP through Server 2012 R2,” the company reported in a blog. That means it runs on every single Windows version, “so 100 percent of your Windows endpoints are vulnerable,” says Daniel Goldberg, a security researcher at GuardiCore. The malware has been named Trojan.sysscan.

The malware uses brute force to find usernames and passwords that can be used as credentials to access information systems. Sometimes it doesn’t take much time because an organization may have been breached previously, but passwords uncovered in previous breaches often are not changed and are still available for use. But if necessary, the malware will keep trying to get in for hours until it accesses a system, according to Goldberg.

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While currently focused on financial credentials, the malware can steal credentials from any organization’s systems, and it is only a matter of time before it hits other sectors. It’s not yet been detected on computers of healthcare organizations, but security professionals should assume it may have already infiltrated some systems.

“Healthcare is equally if not potentially more vulnerable, given the prevalence of Windows in the industry,” Goldberg notes.

Trojan.sysscan, while not yet widespread, is a simple malware that can remain undetected for a considerable period of time, and Goldberg advises assuming the malware will appear in systems if enhanced security measures are not taken. “People should not think of anti-virus as their only line of protection.” The blog is available here.

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