Google launches crackdown, takes down domains tied to CryptBot malware

Google will take down current and future domains that are tied to the distribution of CryptBot malware, which is targeting users of Google Chrome.

| Updated on: Apr 28 2023, 17:14 IST
In Pics: Know 5 ways to stay safe online on Google Chrome
Google Chrome
1/5 Keep strong password: Using a password manager (even if it’s not Google’s) will help you store and use a strong, unique password for each site you log into. Google Password Manager can suggest and save a strong, unique password of gobbledygook (like KZamPPzj43T9mQM). Then, Chrome will autofill the password next time you need it — on any device. Chrome should suggest a new strong password when creating a new account, or you can always right click in the password field and click “Suggest Password.” (Pixabay)
Google Chrome
2/5 Keep updating Google Chrome: Like every other application, security engineers work to keep Chrome safe against the latest threats, by working on updates and improvements. And these updates and improvements come out at least every two weeks. Chrome checks for updates regularly, and when one is available, Chrome downloads it immediately and then applies it when you close and reopen the browser. But if you haven’t closed your browser in a while, you may have a pending update visible in the upper right corner of the browser window. To apply the update, click “Update” or simply close and reopen Chrome. (REUTERS)
Google Chrome
3/5 Keep note of Chrome's download warnings: Chrome warns its users about dangerous downloads when possible. When you see a download warning, you can still download the file, but it is recommended not to do so. Computers are often compromised by malware because people misunderstand or ignore warnings. (Pixabay)
Google Chrome
4/5 Use 2-step verification: Two-factor authentication can use your phone to add an extra step to verify that it's you when you sign in. Signing in with both a password and a second step on your phone protects against password-stealing scams. If you sign into Chrome with a Google Account, be sure that you’re enrolled in 2-step verification to protect your account. (Unsplash)
Google Chrome
5/5 Use the browser with Enhanced security protection: To be even more secure while browsing the web in Chrome, turn on Enhanced Safe Browsing protection in your Chrome settings. It substantially increases protection from dangerous websites and downloads by sharing real-time data with Safe Browsing. If you’re signed in, Chrome and other Google apps you use (Gmail, Drive, etc) will be able to provide improved protection based on a holistic view of threats you encounter on the web and attacks against your Google Account, according to the blog post. (Pixabay)
Google Chrome
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Here is what Google will do to combat CryptBot malware. (Unsplash)

Even as awareness is raised about spread of cyber crime, hackers keep coming up with different ideas to steal data and money from people. Crackdowns have come frequently and Google has been an active part of keeping these campaigns going to stop the spread of malware in order to protect users. Google is currently targeting Cryptbot malware distributors. They are paid to spread malware as much as possible for users to download and install, which subsequently infects machines and steals user data and money.

"Yesterday, a federal judge in the Southern District of New York unsealed our civil action against the malware distributors of Cryptbot, which we estimate infected approximately 670,000 computers this past year and targeted users of Google Chrome to steal their data. We're targeting the distributors who are paid to spread malware broadly for users to download and install, which subsequently infects machines and steals user data," Google said in a blog post.

Cryptbot: All you need to know

CryptBot is a type of malware that is often referred to as an “infostealer” because it is designed to identify and steal sensitive information from victims' computers such as authentication credentials, social media account logins, cryptocurrency wallets, and more.

CryptBot then sends the stolen data to be harvested and eventually sold to bad actors to use in data breach campaigns. CryptBot distributors offer maliciously modified versions of many software packages, including Google Earth Pro and Google Chrome. Users download and install these packages, without realizing that doing so infects their machines with malware, the blog post explained.

It further informed that the recent CryptBot versions have been designed to specifically target users of Google Chrome.

Google has filed litigation against several of CryptBot's major distributors who they believe are based in Pakistan and operate a worldwide criminal enterprise. The legal complaint is based on a variety of claims, including computer fraud and abuse and trademark infringement. To hamper the spread of CryptBot, the court has granted a temporary restraining order to bolster Google's ongoing technical disruption efforts against the distributors and their infrastructure.

"The court order allows us to take down current and future domains that are tied to the distribution of CryptBot. This will slow new infections from occurring and decelerate the growth of CryptBot," the blog post stated.

How to combat security risks

Step 1:

Here are some of the points, Cybercrime Support Network recommends users to protect themselves against malware like CryptBot:

Step 2:

Download from well-known and trusted sources.

Step 3:

Read reviews and do your research.

Step 4:

Keep your operating system and software up-to-date.

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First Published Date: 28 Apr, 17:14 IST
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