File-less malware attacks leave little trace, which makes them all the more threatening. A file-less malware attack doesn’t even need to install software on a victim’s machine and is instead based on an attacker taking control of something already installed on your computer.
A file-less malware attack often latches onto a built-in component of Windows that has is completely trusted by the machine, and so has unrestricted access to the operating system. Examples include Powershell, a component of Windows which is a powerful scripting language. Essentially, the cybercriminals are turning Windows against itself.
Why not just turn off Powershell if it’s so dangerous? The issue lies in that Microsoft made PowerShell essential when using many of its products, whether for the user interface or for managing the products as an administrator. Such programs that are critical to the usability of the machine are always going to be necessary, and this is exactly why attackers utilize them.
This is exactly why it’s so important to have a layered security solution – in this case a security solution that scans and monitors activity in memory. This ensures protection is in place to detect malformed or hijacked applications from being executed, and helps to keep your business’ networks secure.