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The most common method for malware hackers to gain access to user accounts is spams and phishing emails. It’s getting so vicious and we’ve got to be careful about clicking anything on the Internet. Malware authors create genuinely looking spam emails to trick users into opening emails and an infectious attachment, or the link that comes with it. Most of the time, we get persuaded and end up clicking on the attachments and going to malicious websites or giving way to malicious criminals to install malware code. And what could be the best way to know if the connection is real or malicious?

Shortened Links

There are those link shortening services like bit.ly that were popularly used to fit compliance with social media. But malware authors and distributors also use linking shortening methods to mask the actual destination of their connections

By not clicking on the link you can show the actual target place of the connection by using certain specific tools.

Links through unsolicited emails

Email pretending to be from a reputable bank with a subject line-” Verify Your Details “or” Enter Your Information, “then it’s a phishing email Although the link given in the email looks legitimate, avoid clicking it as it might be a phishing mail imitating being genuine. If you want to visit a bank web site, type the address in the address bar manually.

If you find a bunch of strange characters in it

Most of the time malware authors use a technique called URL Encoding to try and hide the actual destination of the malicious sites. Through this, malware hackers can hide commands and other malicious activities within the link, so that users can’t read or understand it. So in case you find a combination of percent symbols, be careful about the URL.

Scanning a Link Scanner

There are a range of link scanning tools that can be used even before clicking on the link to validate the security of the link. Many such scanning tools are available as SIteInspector, ScanURL and others.

Enable the option of real-time or active scanning in your Antimalware software

To order to stay ahead of malware infection, real-time or pro-active scanning should be performed. This could eat up more resources from the system once the option is turned on.

Keep the antivirus / virus protection software up to date

If you have any Antivirus software installed, please ensure that the software is updated with the latest virus definitions. This is done even against the latest threats, to protect the system. Allows regular auto-updating of the definition of virus. Keep a check of the last software update to make sure the auto updates are working as per the agenda.

Consider adding malware scanner for second opinion

Make sure that there’s another malware scanner as the security mechanism’s second line. If the main antivirus software fails to detect the presence of malware, the second malware scanner will help to find the malware, by any chance. Thus the malware can not avoid the detection.

Tools for Detecting Malicious URLs

AlienVault OTX

The Open Threat Intelligence Community is only open to Open Threat Community registered users. Which to Join is optional. It helps identify compromised endpoints instantly by deploying OTX E

Once the AlienVault Agent is enabled on the computer, it will begin to identify threats instantly, enabling users to select and launch a predefined query on any OTX endpoints.

AlienVault Agent executes the query and a summary page inside OTX shows the end result of the query.

The threat hunting method is entirely free, delivering Intelligence Power as OTX Endpoint Threat Hunter. And they can search endpoints for recognized compromise indicators (IOCs)

Any.Run

Any. Run is an interactive malware analysis scanner that enables users in a secure virtual environment to analyze and investigate suspicious or malware files. Users can upload files with this tool, and have real-time interactions in a sandboxed environment. Installation is not necessary, above all.

Frees version supports 32-bit Windows 7 as a virtual sandboxed environment and it does not extend its support to evaluate a 64-bit file’s functions.

Maximum file size can be 16 Megabytes

Data uploaded to the web can be downloaded by any third party-this poses confidentiality concerns

BrightCloud

BrightCloud is a tool for analyzing malware that is next in the list and provides a clear view of threat, content and reputation analysis. This ensures safeguards individuals and companies in a globally connected world by providing pre-defined online threat intelligence support. It puts a stop to malicious inbound traffic.

Kaspersky Virus Desk

Kaspersky VirusDesk is yet another tool for analyzing malware which checks the antivirus and reputation database files. It provides a clear report on the threats identified, and rolls out full information about them.

The results come in as follows:

If no threats are found – the report reveals that the file is safe while also stating that no threats have been detected.

Should the file appear suspicious or infected. It notifies the user that they have identified a threat. The file is unsafe for use, reception and sharing.

This scanning device will search files of a maximum size of 50 MB.

IBM X-Force Research

It is yet another well-known and efficient system for industrial safety research. It is a threat-intelligence platform based on the cloud that channels out to exchange information about the latest threats, provide sensitive solutions, etc.