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Searching for textbooks and essays in electronic form on the Internet exposes students to a wide range of malicious attacks as Kaspersky Lab researchers found after analyzing data gathered over the past academic year. With the back to school season in full force and everyone looking around for the best possible price, some will end up trying their chances on the web instead of paying for educational materials out of their pocket. While this might look like a bargain at first, it also comes with a lot of dangers seeing that attackers will try their best to infect your computer with malware downloaders that can download and execute banking Trojans and ransomware or with worms capable of quickly spreading to all your contacts and all devices on your network. After taking a closer look at attacks using malicious documents with educational-related filenames and directed at Kaspersky users, the researchers discovered that threat actors targeted potential victims from the educational field over 356,000 times in total over the past academic year. "Of these, 233,000 cases were malicious essays that were downloaded to computers owned by more than 74,000 people and that our solutions managed to block," found Kaspersky. "About a third of those files were textbooks: we detected 122,000 attacks by malware that was disguised as textbooks. More than 30,000 users tried to open these files." While the MediaGet downloader will only download and install an unneeded torrent client, the two other downloaders are capable of dropping a huge range of malware strains on the victims' computers including but not limited to adware, crypto miners, spyware, banking Trojans, and, in the most serious cases, ransomware capable encrypting all their data. Stalk, on the other hand, a worm Kaspersky detects as Worm.Win32.Stalk.a also use spam emails to reach its victims' computers and will immediately attempt to infect any connected USB flash devices and as many devices on the same network as possible. In-depth details are posted on OUR FORUM.

 

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