January 29, 2023

It’s everywhere and scary enough that it seems like something you can trust from someone you know. Instead, this nasty, fast-spreading malware called Azov can wipe you out for good.

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

What is Azov? How does it kill you?

Azov is a particularly aggressive form of malware that can completely and irrevocably destroy all data on certain devices. Checkpoint Study Discover that Azov has the unique ability to write its own code that can quickly infect your PC, smartphone or tablet by overwriting your information with random data.

Even more disturbing, Azov’s code-writing abilities also help it evade detection by creating completely different codes each time it damages your device. This ability makes it easier for Azov to infect the files used to start and run applications and effectively wipe your device.

What does Azov look like?

Currently, there are two different versions of Azov. They share most of their functionality, but this latest version uses a different ransom note and file extension for the compromised files it creates. This would be the case if you were tricked into letting this malware onto one of your devices.

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A ransom note generated by malware.

A ransom note generated by malware.
(Checkpoint Research)

Be careful what you click

Hackers discover that we are likely to click to open an online greeting card addressed to us personally. Unfortunately, this could include digital holiday or birthday cards involving Azov.

If you get a greeting card from Paperless Post or a similar site, don’t worry. However, if you don’t recognize the website and/or the greeting card as an attachment, don’t open the card, as the only thing you’ll find inside may be malware or ransomware.

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Virus and spyware warning messages on a laptop screen at home in London following a major cyber attack on NHS computer systems.

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

How to protect your device from malware

1. Update your software and backup your data

While hackers do their best to keep the latest software up to date, keeping the software on your device up to date will make it harder for them to break into your device. Making sure you’re running the latest software on all your devices is critical.

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For Mac users

This will give you the option to manually or automatically update the software on your device

for computer users

It’s also wise to frequently back up your data on the cloud or on an external drive to keep it safe from hackers. Go to CyberGuy.com/BackUpYourDevices for steps on how to back up your Windows or Mac computer.

2. Install a trustworthy antivirus program

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

My top pick is TotalAV (limited time offer: $19 (80% off) for the first year). TotalAV is packed with features to keep you safe from malware and protect you while browsing the internet, including ransomware protection, real-time antivirus Protection, virus and malware removal, tools to free up space on your computer, and more. Check out my expert reviews of the best antivirus protection by searching for “best antivirus” on 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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