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Double trouble: malware now work in pairs to cause you trouble

Malware are traditionally solitary predators, preying on out-of-date software and insecure computers to cause maximum damage. But Microsoft has recently discovered a collaboration between two pieces of malware. The tech giants found that two viruses – Vodfus and Beebone – have teamed up to make themselves much harder to remove.

The way the two viruses work together is three-fold. Firstly, if you successfully discover and uninstall either Vobfus or Beebone, the remaining virus will re-download its partner. This means that if you’ve removed one infection and not the other, the first virus will just come back again. That’s both dangerous and annoying.

The second part of the partnership means that the two infections also download newer versions of each other, so you’re consistently updated with the latest threat. Eeek.

Because the two viruses are constantly updating each other, you can easily be fooled into thinking your anti-virus has removed the infection. The truth, however, is that the original versions of the malware might be removed, but newer editions may have been installed – and be undetectable to your virus checker.

Finally, Vobfus does a third useful thing for the viruses (and a terrible thing for users) – it spreads itself to attached drives (such as USB sticks). This means it can transfer itself to other computers. Once it finds a new host, it will download Beebone, and the process repeats.

Beebone is a “downloader” type of virus, which means when it is installed, it doesn’t just download Vobfus, but a whole host of other nasty pieces of code.

How to avoid falling victim to Beebone and Vobfus

With the two viruses constantly trying to avoid detection and outsmarting everything but the most up-to-date virus scanners, how do you keep safe when confronted with Beebone and Vobfus?

The simple – and most effective – solution is to avoid clicking on dangerous links on the internet. If you don’t know where a link goes, or if you’re on a website that is offering a product for free (such as pirated music), it’s important to avoid clicking anything you don’t have to.

In fact, it’s probably best to avoid any type of online piracy if you want to keep safe from malware. Apart from the legal issues, the majority of websites providing pirated content will either a) give you a virus and give you the file, or b) give you a virus and not give you the file you’re looking for.

The other tip is to ensure that you’re computer is as up-to-date as possible. Updated software means that there are less security holes for viruses to exploit, which could stop Beebone and Vobfus in their tracks.

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