Home Internet Security What is BlackHole Exploit Kit and How to Avoid It

What is BlackHole Exploit Kit and How to Avoid It

Posted: September 28, 2011

Even criminals that use malicious software, such as rootkits, keyloggers and trojans, can benefit from ease of use, and, unfortunately, with the free release of the BlackHole Exploit Kit, honing these types of malware onto targets is easier than ever before. Although our malware researchers are already familiar with the BlackHole Kit from its 2010 debut, only in recent times has the Black Hole Exploit Kit become freely-available for any hackers who care to try their hand at malicious software attacks. Because the free version of the BlackHole Exploit Kit isn't the most recent version and lacks particularly recent exploit-related features, patching your software may help to protect you from attacks that use the free BlackHole Exploit Kit as a guidance system to lock in on your PC. BlackHole Exploit Kits can be configured to use many types of PC threats, and you should combat individual infections with appropriate anti-malware programs that can identify and remove each specific type of malicious software.

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How to Avoid a BlackHole Attack

BlackHole Exploit Kits are used to install harmful software of various types without giving any visual indication that this process is happening. You can acquire a Black Hole Exploit Kit-assisted infection from any source that you would acquire an infection from normally, including malicious pop-ups and websites, drive-by-download scripts or fake software updates.

The original BlackHole Exploit Kit is more powerful than its free version and can target recent vulnerabilities that may not have been patched out of web browsers, Flash, JavaScript and other types of software that are related to your PC's security. However, it's substantial $1,500 price tag has kept it from being widely-circulated among hackers. The freely-available BlackHole Exploit Kit is only slightly behind its expensive forebear in terms of features and can be used to grease the slide that directs malicious software over to your PC almost equally well.

Black Hole Exploit Kit's free version was released only shortly after the leak of the banking trojan Zeus. Because these two harmful programs can coordinate their attacks to wreak widespread havoc, SpywareRemove.com malware experts strongly encourage you to be alert for potential Zeus attacks and keep your security-related software completely up-to-date. Zeus, like most forms of trojans, doesn't show overt indications that it's active, but is unpleasantly-adept at stealing private information such as banking-related data.

Surveying the Wreckage of a Recent Victim of the BlackHole Exploit Kit

One example of attack by the new and free version of the BlackHole Exploit Kit is MySQL.com, a website that was recently compromised and forced to infect visitors with various types of malicious software. SpywareRemove.com malware experts are particularly quick to note that actual interaction with this website isn't necessary to acquire an infection; all you need to do is visit it before a BlackHole Exploit Kit infection attacks your PC (with a little help from Java and Flash scripts). Current reports indicate that MySQL.com has been cleaned of these attacks, but future Black Hole Exploit Kit assaults may well be on their way.

Both versions of BlackHole Exploit Kits preferentially-target Windows systems and are able to calculate various types of attack statistics, as well as alter attacks based on the data that they collect. For example, a BlackHole Exploit Kit infection may monitor your country of origin and then decide on an appropriate malicious software attack that's based on the country in question.

The only good news from this release is that the free version of BlackHole Exploit Kit isn't likely to see updates in the future. Free Black Hole Exploit Kit products contain intentionally-obfuscated code that hints at the release being an accident, and makes it difficult, if not impossible, for hackers to make changes to this version of the BlackHole Exploit Kit.