Watch out! There’s a new family of malware out there and it’s coming for your devices. The security experts at Bitdefender call it MosaicLoader. That’s because the malicious software is so intricately designed that it’s hard to reverse engineer and figure out how to stop it.

Solar Winds

MosaicLoader downloads multiple threats to your PC, including cookie stealers, crypto-currency miners, and back-doors. Backdoors allow hackers to access your system fully. They can steal your private information, watch your every move, or even take over your computer and use it for their own purposes. These crooks can even sell access to the compromised computers to other hackers.

This particular form of malware gets onto computers through advertising in the form of sponsored search results. So far, they’ve only targeted folks who search for things they shouldn’t be searching for in the first place, namely cracked or pirated software.

With more folks working from home, people are increasingly turning to shady versions of the types of programs they used back at the office. These malicious downloads do a pretty good job of imitating the look of the real software downloads, so you might not even know you’ve been hacked at all.

The primary lesson here is not to download alleged “free” or “cracked” versions of paid software or services. If your company isn’t willing to pony up for a legitimate copy, try to find a legitimate alternative or pay for a licensed copy of what you need.

Also, pay very close attention to search results, especially sponsored ones. Just because something turns up at the top of your search results, doesn’t mean it’s legitimate, just that they paid to be the top result.

And be very careful about turning off your security to download anything. Vigilance, vigilance, vigilance!