A second round of indictments by the US Department of Justice charged hacker group “Apt41” with using Anvisoft antivirus software with hacking. The report from safety leaders KnowBe4 lists the details.
The Chinese based group is said to have infected over 100 of their customers. Some of the victims were through “supply chain attacks” where the hackers compromised and modified legitimate software code to extend to other customers.
“The Department of Justice release makes no mention of specific involvement of the AV software, but given APT41’s use of supply chain attacks, it makes sense that they would put the same code into Anvisoft’s product to facilitate access to customer networks.” Says KnowBe4.
Free Isn’t Free
The danger in this instance comes from downloading free AV software. We’ve previously mentioned how free software isn’t free. Whether you’re giving up your information or, in this case, compromising your data, there will always be a cost.
To keep yourself protected, only go with trusted and reviewed antivirus. The same goes for other software programs. Free downloads simply aren’t worth the risk.
Furthermore, you should always be wary of software from outside of the United States. We’ve mentioned before that foreign governments can impose rules on the transfer of personal data. American made and maintained software falls singularly under the rule of American privacy laws.
Also consider improving your cyber knowledge. KnowBe4 offers security training for everyone. At the end of the day, the more you know about cyber security, the easier it will be for you to spot something that isn’t quite right.
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