(IANS) Halloween is around the corner and this past month has brought a variety of spooky cyber threats that haunt our networks and devices – from malicious malware to restricting ransomware, according to cybersecurity company McAfee.

“Despite being known for tricks and treats, Halloween isn’t a time you want to be tricked when it comes to your online security. This month has brought a range of cyber threats complete with ”spooky” names. For example, this year, Ghostcat Malware has been trying to haunt consumers,” Raj Samani, Chief Scientist, and McAfee Fellow said in a statement.

“The goal is to hijack mobile browsing sessions and it begins when a user visits a particular website and faces a malicious ad. The malware then collects device information to consequently serve up a malicious URL linked to the ad.

“From this, the user is led to malicious content. To avoid a threat like this haunting networks and devices, consumers must adopt safe-surfing habits all year round,” Samani said.

Ghostcat is not the only way malware is being spread lately, as attackers have manipulated WAV audio files to spread malware and crypto miners.

By using a technique called stenography, malware authors can hide malicious code inside a file that appears normal, which allows hackers to bypass security software and firewalls.

The mysterious MedusaLocker ransomware is also slithering its way onto users” devices, encrypting files until the victim purchases a decryptor, Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist, McAfee, wrote in a blog post.

This strain will perform various startup routines to prep the victim’s device for encryption. Additionally, it will ensure that Windows networking is running and mapped network drives (shortcuts to a shared folder on a remote computer or server) are accessible.

Then, it will shut down security programmes, clear data duplicates so they can’t be used to restore files, remove backups made with Windows backup, and disable the Windows automatic startup repair.

“Consumers should approach unknown links with caution and remain wary of suspicious pop-ups, seasonal or otherwise. With many threats, such as Ghostcat, targeting mobile devices, you must ensure your mobile device is protected by your cybersecurity solution,” Samani said.

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