How To Tell If Your Network Has Been Compromised

How To Tell If Your Network Has Been Compromised

Businesses today are at greater risk of cyber attacks than they were in the past – may be the pandemic has brought out the worst in people. Regardless of the cause, cyber security threats are a major point of concern for companies, most of whom are now more than ever dependent on their IT infrastructure and online services to function remotely, so they can stay afloat. However, this has also posed a significant challenge as there are no IT professionals present on-site, which means the network has become more vulnerable as monitoring has become harder.

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Hackers use multiple ways to get into a network, including phishing emails, malicious software, guessing the password, etc. One little mistake or overlook, and the whole network can be compromised. If you think your network may be hacked, then lookout for the signs stated below.

Ransomware Messages

A common indicator of network attacks is ransomware messages. These messages appear on the websites’ homepage and restrict access to its contents unless the victims pay a specified fee – an anonymous online payment made to the hacker.

It’s not necessary that these ransomware attacks occur due to an employee visiting an infected website at work. It can also happen if they open a spam email or message, iterating them to visit a specific site or click on a link that triggers a download of malware or infected files. Since the emails are made to look legitimate, employees do not often think twice before following the instructions, which results in the hackers installing ransomware into the person’s computer through which they enter into the corporate network.

Computers Functioning Externally

If your mouse cursor starts moving on its own, files are opening/deleting without internal input, or it appears that your computer is being controlled externally, then it is a sign of a remote desktop hack.

Strange Messages

Another common sign of a compromised network is when individuals present in a victim’s contact list receive odd emails from them without the genuine account holder sending them. These emails usually contain links or attachments that trigger a chain reaction, where malware spreads across all those computers in the network from which users’ opened that link/attachment. This mass damage makes it easier for hackers to damage the network.

Apart from emails, these kinds of malware attacks can also happen across team communication platforms like Skype or Slack.

Files Become Encrypted

Another type of ransomware attack involves hackers encrypting files and barring access to them until the victims pay them the amount of money they demand. Detecting such an attack until it happens is undetectable. So if individuals come across encrypted files that they cannot open, it’s a sign of a compromised network.

Odd Redirects

If a browser is redirecting users to some other place when they are trying to access the internet or a particular website, then it is due to a redirect virus. These viruses infect computers by attaching themselves to downloaded software or unwanted browser extensions.

Hackers might even create decoy webpages to look like the actual sites to further trick people into divulging their passwords and other information. So always be vigilant when opening a frequently visited site.

Another type of redirect virus appears when people click on links present on legitimate sites, but instead of the actual content are shown advertisements.

Run regular scans, keep several backups of your data, and be vigilant when accessing the web or emails to prevent your network from getting infiltrated.

Computer Sleuths offers expert virus removal in Buford and other places in the Atlanta area. Click here to schedule a free checkup.