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Not every Phoenix will arise anew…

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Exploits are pieces of code that facilitate system penetration by taking advantage of software flaws.

Exploit kits incorporate multiple exploits that perform the tasks that attackers want to accomplish.

Everyone—even programmers—makes mistakes. As a consequence, programs contain flaws that can be used to perform malicious tasks. This is what exploits are for. Sometimes they are combined into kits.

  • The most popular kits even get names. The Black Hole kit was the most notorious one. After the author's arrest its popularity began to decline because exploit kits, like all other software, require maintenance, updating and bug fixing.
  • Some time ago, the Phoenix Exploit Kit was also quite popular in narrow cybercrime circles. Once its author got arrested, the Phoenix disappeared from the dark cybercrime sky.

Every kit exploits a number of vulnerabilities—usually those found in the most common software installed on PCs.

And what are the applications most commonly found on computers?

  • Web Browsers;
  • Applications that use java, flash and pdf;
  • Media players;
  • Office applications.

Thus, every machine in existence falls in the crosshairs of a criminal who possesses an exploit kit purchased on an underground forum.

Dr.Web recommends

  1. Update all the software installed on your PC, and install all security updates as soon as they are released by their respective developers. Often exploits are created immediately after a vulnerability has been discovered, which means that your computer instantly becomes a target for attack.
  2. Only keep installed on your computer the applications that you actually use—sometimes the mere presence of an application in a system enables intruders to exploit it.
  3. Download software only from official developer sites.
  4. Use Dr.Web Preventive Protection: It incorporates the technology Dr.Web ShellGuard which prevents exploits from performing actions that give criminals unauthorised access to your system.

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