One click and new nasty Azov malware could wipe out all your data

It’s popping up everywhere, and the scary part is it looks like something you can trust from someone you know. Instead, this nasty, fast-spreading malware called Azov can wipe you out.

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Azov malware can write its own code, making it uniquely destructive – and difficult to detect.
(FoxNews)

What is Azov & how does it wipe you out?

Azov is a particularly aggressive form of malware that can completely and irrevocably destroy all data found on certain devices. Check Point Research discovered Azov has a unique capability of writing its own code, making it possible to override your information with random data, quickly infecting your personal computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Even more disturbing is that Azov’s code-writing capabilities also help it evade detection by creating a completely different code each time it corrupts one of your devices. This ability makes it all the easier for Azov to infect the files used to launch and run applications and effectively wipe your devices clean.

What does Azov look like?

Currently, there are two different versions of Azov. They share most of their capabilities, but this newest version uses a different ransom note and file extension for the destroyed file it creates. Here’s what it looks like if you are sucked into allowing this malware onto one of your devices.

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A ransom note resulting from malware.

A ransom note resulting from malware.
(Check Point Research)

Be careful what you click

Hackers are catching on to the fact that we will likely click to open an online greeting card personally addressed to us. Unfortunately, this might include a digital holiday or birthday card when it comes to Azov.

Should you receive a greeting card from Paperless Post or similar sites, you needn’t worry. However, if you don’t recognize the website and/or the greeting card comes as an attachment, leave that card unopened because the only thing found inside is likely malware or ransomware.

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A virus and spyware warning message on a laptop screen at a home in London, following a major cyber attack on NHS computer systems.

A virus and spyware warning message on a laptop screen at a home in London, following a major cyber attack on NHS computer systems.
(Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

How to protect your devices from malware

1. Update your software and back up your data

While hackers work their hardest to stay up to date on the most recent software, keeping the software on your device current will make it harder for them to hack into your device. It is critical to ensure you are running the most up-to-date software on all your devices.

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For Mac Users

This will give you the option of either manually or automatically updating the software on your device

For PC users

It’s also wise to constantly back up your data on the cloud or on an external drive, keeping it safer from hackers. Head over to CyberGuy.com/BackUpYourDevices for steps to back up your windows or Mac computer.

2. Install a trusted antivirus program

The best way to keep your devices safe from Azov and other malware is to have a trusted antivirus program installed and running on your devices.

My top pick is TotalAV (Limited time deal: $19 your first year (80% off). TotalAV is full of features to keep you safe from malware and protect you when browsing the internet, including ransomware protection, real-time antivirus protection, elimination of viruses and malware, a tool to free up your computer’s space, plus more. See my expert review of the best antivirus protection by searching ‘Best Antivirus’ at CyberGuy.com.

For more of my security tips, head over to CyberGuy.com and be sure to sign up for my free newsletter.

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