How can an Attacker execute Malware through a Script?

Cyberattackers always look for new ways to exploit digital devices and systems. Since the security programs have become robust enough to tackle the traditional files based malware, the attackers have found a new approach for conducting the malicious activities.

The technique which is gradually becoming popular among cybercriminals is the Script-Based Malware Attack. The scripts are an excellent way to execute malicious attacks on the system without making any changes on the disk and thereby bypassing the detection mechanism of the security programs.

In this post, we will discover what script-based malware is and how can an attacker execute malware through a script.

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What is a Script-Based Malware attack?

A Script-Based Malware Attack is a form of malicious attack performed by cyber attackers using scrip languages such as JavaScript, PHP, and others. These are primarily conducted to outsmart the security protocols of the antimalware/antivirus programs and attack the device.

Such attacks are directly operated on memory and are generally fileless. This makes it difficult to judge where the attacks begin, and therefore effective analysis to counter such attacks becomes challenging. Even if the culprit malware is caught, the new variants can be quickly created using scripts.

How a Script-Based Malware Work?

Generally, to execute a malware program through a script, the attacker attaches it to a program and makes you download it on your machine. You can also receive script-based malware through word or PDF files sent through emails.

Other ways to execute malware through script are using HTML Applications (HTA) and Javascript. HTAs are generally delivered through malicious attachments and extensions. An HTA can enable the user privileges on the system to run malicious scripts. On the other hand, Javascript codes typically get executed when cybercriminals lure users into visiting infected websites. The infected Javascript codes help attackers take advantage of system vulnerabilities and ultimately gain control over the device.

After infiltrating the system through scripts, the attackers use legitimate Windows OS components like PowerShell for their attacks. By using the legit components, they remain undetected and gain the trust of the security programs. PowerShell, which is originally meant for executing system commands and streamline management processes, is used by attackers to speed up the infection in the Windows systems.

The script is just used for entry into the system and then allows the payload to execute the required action like stealing data, encrypting the files, or others.

How to remove Script-Based Malware?

The script-based malware generally gets entry into your system through infected files and web browsers. If you suspect the infection of a script malware program on your device, you can follow these steps to remove it:

  1. Delete the recently downloaded email attachments such as Word File, PDF, or others. These downloaded files might be the source of the script execution.

  2. Uninstall the unknown applications you find on your system. They might be installed after the script execution.

  3. If you are using the Chrome browser, run its inbuilt malware scanner.

  4. Disable the script on your browser. This will stop malicious scripts from running and spreading malware.

  5. Reset your browser. The malware might have modified its settings to take control.

  6. Disable the PowerShell till the time your system is infected. The malicious actors might exploit PowerShell to remain undetected and speed up the spread.

  7. Use MalwareFox antimalware to detect and remove malicious files from every corner of your system.MalwareFox Antimalware

How to stay protected from Script Malware?

It is evident that Script-Based Malware programs can create havoc in the system if they infiltrate the system. So, it is essential to keep them away from your system. Follow these tips to stay protected from such malicious programs:

  • Never visit unsolicited websites to download software and games.
  • Don’t download the attachments of unknown emails. They might be script carriers.
  • Keep your browser and other applications updated. Outdated applications can be vulnerable to malware attacks.
  • Along with applications, it is also essential to keep your operating system updated with the latest version. The updated OS will introduce the newest security protocols on your system, protecting you from the latest introduced threats.
  • Keep installed security applications like antimalware and firewall on your device.
  • Keep your Wi-Fi network secure by enabling the WPA/WPA2 protocol on your WiFi router.
  • Disable the script on the browser if you have to visit a suspicious site.
  • Learn to detect Phishing emails. Cybercriminals use Phishing scams to lure users into installing illicit programs and infected files containing malicious scripts.
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Can scripts contain viruses?

Legitimate web scripts such as Javascript can be altered and infected with malicious code and used for malware execution.

Can antivirus detect scripts?

Since script viruses are mainly file-less, traditional security programs may find it challenging to detect. However, scanning the medium that contains the malicious scripts might be helpful.

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