Astaroth is a high-risk trojan-type virus. It is typically distributed using spam email campaigns. Criminals send hundreds of thousands of emails that contain deceptive messages encouraging users to open attached files (Microsoft Office documents). Once opened, these files run commands that inject Astaroth into the system. Following infiltration, Astaroth injects other malicious apps. At the time of research, it was used to proliferate a keylogger designed to steal personal data, however, Astaroth is also used to proliferate other malware.

IMPACT OF THE ASTAROTH TROJAN

Once the campaign has successfully infiltrated, it will log the users’ keystrokes, intercept their operating system calls, and gather any information saved to the clipboard continuously. With these methods, it uncovers significant amounts of personal information from the user bank accounts and business accounts. Additionally, in conjunction with NetPass, it gathers user login passwords across the board undetected, including any of their remote computers on LAN, mail account passwords, Messenger accounts, Internet Explorer passwords, and others.

Gathering this type of data can have a major impact on an organization and an individual. Getting access to account passwords can lead an attacker to potentially sensitive email correspondence, customer information, research and development information, and more. It can negatively impact the user, through loss of data from emails and loss of funds with stolen bank information. It can also affect the company, as their trade secrets and future research have been made public. This can result in loss of consumer trust, brand degradation, and competitor advantage.

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How the Astaroth Trojan Infects Your Files

The Astaroth Trojan seems to have been designed to collect passwords for database managers, emails, Web logins, and VPN services mainly. The Astaroth Trojan also is capable of tracking keystrokes on infected computers, allowing the Astaroth Trojan to collect the victim’s password or credit card information as it is being typed on the infected PC. The Astaroth Trojan attack’s main objective is to collect this data to take advantage of the victims and collect their money or online data if possible. The Astaroth Trojan attack has various aspects that are quite innovative, and PC security researchers are still carrying out updates to ensure that the computer users can be safe from threats like the Astaroth Trojan. Some of these aspects, such as the way the Astaroth Trojan uses legitimate password recovery scripts as part of its attack, allow the Astaroth Trojan to bypass various anti-virus programs commonly used today.

Protecting Your Computer from Threats Like the Astaroth Trojan

The best way to ensure that your computer is fully protected from threats like the Astaroth Trojan is to have a security software suite that is fully up-to-date installed on your computer and run regular scans of your PC with it.

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