What Is Snake Keylogger and Are You at Risk?
Just about any keylogger is bad news. Here's how to avoid getting bit by this specific one.
In our modern technological age, crime has gone beyond what it once was. Today, criminals can steal data and money through various kinds of malware, including keyloggers.
A well-known example of this type of malware is Snake Keylogger. But where did Snake Keylogger come from, how does it work, and how can you avoid it?
What Is Snake Keylogger?
To fully understand Snake Keylogger, let's first explore what keyloggers are in general.
A keylogger is a type of malicious program used to log keystrokes. In other words, keyloggers can record every key pressed on a keyboard. If you type a password, have a text-based conversation, enter your payment information, or do quite literally anything else via your keyboard, the keylogger takes note of it if your device is infected.
Through this logging, the malicious operator controlling the program can see what you're typing into your device, which gives them the potential to steal a lot of data.
Examples of well-known keyloggers include Spyrix, Ardamax, and, of course, Snake Keylogger.
Snake Keylogger is a modular malware program that was created using the .NET developer platform. It was first discovered in the wild in November 2020 and is known to steal credentials, clipboard data, and other kinds of information. Both individuals and organizations are at risk of being targeted by Snake Keylogger, which can be bought on malicious marketplaces, such as hacking forums.
How Does Snake Keylogger Work?
Snake Keylogger is commonly spread via phishing campaigns. Phishing is a popular scam tactic, through which cybercriminals steal data from victims via malicious links and attachments. Phishing is common via email but can also be conducted via SMS and social media posts or messages. Snake Keylogger can also be spread via spear phishing, in which specific victims are targeted for a certain goal.
When Snake Keylogger is sent to a potential victim, it is contained within an attachment. If the recipient opens the attachment, they are then asked to open a DOCX file. This DOCX file contains a macro (a form of computer virus) that allows for the launch of Snake Keylogger. If the victim is using a version of Microsoft Office that has security vulnerabilities (which often come in the form of software flaws), the keylogger can exploit them and infect the device. PDF readers containing such flaws can also be exploited by Snake Keylogger for deployment.
Snake Keylogger can also take screenshots on the infected device, giving the operator even more opportunities to steal precious information.
Snake Keylogger can then take the recorded data and pass it on to the attacker, who can then exploit it in any way they wish. The attacker could either exploit it directly (such as by hacking a banking account with stolen credentials) or sell the harbored information to other malicious actors on illicit marketplaces. The dark web is full of such platforms, where all kinds of data are up for grabs, including payment information, credentials, email addresses, and even social security numbers.
There's another aspect to Snake Keylogger that makes it particularly dangerous. Snake Keylogger actually has the ability to evade antivirus protection, which often stands as the first line of defense for most individuals. In fact, many solely use antivirus as a form of protection on their devices, as it is often assumed that antivirus programs can detect and remove all malware.
So, if Snake Keylogger manages to evade this software and no other protective lines are in place, the targeted device could quickly become infected and exploited.
In the past, Snake Keylogger has been commonly spread via malicious PDF files. In one such campaign, according to ThreatPost, a 22-year-old Office RCE vulnerability was exploited to spread Snake Keylogger among devices.
Variants of Snake Keylogger also exist, which is the norm for popular malware programs. In late 2021, for example, a new variant of Snake Keylogger was discovered. As reported by Fortinet, this variant comes in the form of a Microsoft Excel sample sent to victims as an email attachment.
How to Avoid Snake Keylogger
While Snake Keylogger can prove to be a sneaky form of malware, there are things you can do to steer clear of it.
Avoiding Snake Keylogger involves taking a number of security measures, the first of which being the installation of antivirus software. While Snake Keylogger can evade antivirus programs in certain scenarios, it is paramount to have a legitimate and effective antivirus provider in place on your devices to detect keyloggers and other forms of malware.
Additionally, you should always be cautious of any email attachments you receive, especially those from new or suspicious senders. Attachments are very commonly used to spread malware, with Snake Keylogger being just one example of many. If you ever receive an email attachment from a sender you do not completely trust, consider running it through an attachment scanner, which will pick up on any possible threats within.
You should also be mindful of the file extension used in the attachments sent your way. There are certain file extensions that are frequently used in the spread of malware, including .exe, .pdf, .zip, .doc, and .rar.
To avoid spam mail (which is often used to spread malware), make sure your email provider's spam filter is enabled. This will ensure that all mail showing signs of being spam is sent to a separate folder, instead of your main inbox.
You should also ensure that your device's operating system, as well as all your installed apps, are being frequently updated. As previously mentioned, Snake Keylogger infects devices by exploiting software vulnerabilities. Updates often iron out these flaws, meaning they can no longer be abused by cybercriminals. You can schedule your apps and operating system for automatic updates, or simply check your settings and default app store frequently to see if updates are due.
Signs of Snake Keylogger
There are warning signs that may indicate the presence of Snake Keylogger on your device, including...
If you think that your device is infected with Snake Keylogger, check out our handy removal guide so that you can get rid of it as soon as possible.
Snake Keylogger Poses Major Dangers
With the ability to log data, take screenshots, extract precious information, and even evade antivirus protection, Snake Keylogger is an undoubtedly dangerous program. This form of keylogger has already targeted many victims and may continue to be used in malicious exploits in the future. So be sure to follow the above advice to protect yourself from Snake Keylogger.
The information is provided solely for general informational and educational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. As a result, before acting on such information, we recommend that you consult with the appropriate professionals.