Today I noticed that my computer was acting funny, so I scanned my computer and sure enough, a Trojan was hiding deep in the bowels of some files.
I wasted a lot of time trying to think where the Trojan would have come from, since I tend to be pretty careful about the sites I visit. But the truth is, malware is hidden everywhere. David Sancho said it best in his TrendsLab Malware Blog:
Cybercriminals may strategically drop or download a malicious file into one of the folders that are recommended to be excluded from scanning or use a file name extension that is also in the excluded list.
Hackers are hiding malware in .zip files to sneak the malicious files onto a computer through trusted sites like Gmail and Hotmail, according to a CNET article. Smartphones aren't immune to the problem, either. According to ID Theft Protect, apps for Windows-Mobile smartphones have hidden malware that calls premium-rate phone numbers, unknown to the phone's owner.
In other words, hidden malware can cost a business thousands of dollars in lost work, lost files or bogus phone calls.
It's hard to be proactive and prevent tech products from being infected with hidden malware, but you can be aggressive in getting rid of it when you find it. TechRadar.com provides 10 tips for getting rid of pesky hidden malware, including working in safe mode and constructing a root kit.