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In today’s digital landscape, cybersecurity threats continue to evolve. They pose
significant risks to individuals and organizations alike. One such threat gaining
prominence is zero-click malware. This insidious form of malware requires no user
interaction. It can silently compromise devices and networks.

One example of this type of attack happened due to a missed call. That’s right, the victim
didn’t even have to answer. This infamous WhatsApp breach occurred in 2019, and a
zero-day exploit enabled it. The missed call triggered a spyware injection into a resource
in the device’s software.

A more recent threat is a new zero-click hack targeting iOS users. This attack initiates
when the user receives a message via iMessage. They don’t even need to interact with
the message of the malicious code to execute. That code allows a total device takeover.
Below, we will delve into what zero-click malware is. We’ll also explore effective strategies
to combat this growing menace.

Understanding Zero-Click Malware

Zero-click malware refers to malicious software that can do a specific thing. It can exploit
vulnerabilities in an app or system with no interaction from the user. It is unlike traditional
malware that requires users to click on a link or download a file.

Zero-click malware operates in the background, often unbeknownst to the victim. It can
infiltrate devices through various attack vectors. These include malicious websites,
compromised networks, or even legitimate applications with security loopholes.

The Dangers of Zero-Click Malware

Zero-click malware presents a significant threat. This is due to its stealthy nature and
ability to bypass security measures. Once it infects a device, it can execute a range of
malicious activities.
These include:
 Data theft
 Remote control
 Cryptocurrency mining
 Spyware
 Ransomware
 Turning devices into botnets for launching attacks
This type of malware can affect individuals, businesses, and even critical infrastructure.
Attacks can lead to financial losses, data breaches, and reputational damage.

Fighting Zero-Click Malware

To protect against zero-click malware, it is crucial to adopt two things. A proactive and
multi-layered approach to cybersecurity. Here are some essential strategies to consider:

Keep Software Up to Date:

Regularly update software, including operating systems, applications, and security
patches. This is vital in preventing zero-click malware attacks. Software updates often
contain bug fixes and security enhancements. These things address vulnerabilities
targeted by malware developers. Enabling automatic updates can streamline this process
and ensure devices remain protected.

Put in Place Robust Endpoint Protection

Deploying comprehensive endpoint protection solutions can help detect and block zero-
click malware. Use advanced antivirus software, firewalls, and intrusion detection
systems. They establish many layers of defense. These solutions should be regularly
updated. This ensures the latest threat intelligence to stay ahead of emerging malware

Educate Users

Human error remains a significant factor in successful malware attacks. A full 88% of data
breaches are the result of human error.
Educate users about the risks of zero-click malware and promote good cybersecurity
practices. This is crucial. Encourage strong password management. As well as caution
when opening email attachments or clicking on unfamiliar links. Support regular training
on identifying phishing attempts.

Conduct Regular Vulnerability Assessments

Perform routine vulnerability assessments and security reviews. This
can help identify weaknesses in systems and applications. Weaknesses that enable an
exploit by zero-click malware. Address these vulnerabilities promptly through patching or
other remediation measures. These actions can significantly reduce the attack surface.

Uninstall Unneeded Applications

The more applications on a device, the more vulnerabilities it has. Many users download
apps then rarely use them. Yet they remain on their device, vulnerable to an attack. They
are also more likely to lack updates.
Have employees or your IT team remove unneeded apps on all company devices. This
will reduce the potential vulnerabilities to your network.

Only Download Apps from Official App Stores

Be careful where you download apps. You should only download from official app stores.
Even when you do, check the reviews and comments. Malicious apps can sometimes slip
through the security controls before they’re discovered.

Get the Technology Facts from a Trusted Pro

Zero-click malware continues to evolve and pose severe threats to individuals and
organizations. It is crucial to remain vigilant and take proactive steps to combat this
menace. Need help with a layered security solution?
Contact our team at IT Centre here to discuss your cybersecurity needs.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.