Zip bombs are malicious pieces of software designed to crash computers and devices by overwhelming them with files.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what zip bombs are, their purpose, and how you can protect yourself from them.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of zip bombs and how to protect yourself from them. Let’s get started…
What is a zip bomb?
A zip bomb, also known as a decompression bomb, is a malicious file designed to crash or freeze the software that opens it.
Zip bombs are often used to attack email servers in denial-of-service attacks. Usually, a zip bomb consists of a compressed file containing many small files that expand to a larger size when decompressed.
The resulting data overload can cause the software to crash or consume all available system resources, making the system unresponsive. In some cases, simply trying to open a zip bomb can cause damage to the computer.
But despite their name, they aren’t always zip files.
What are the dangers of opening a zip bomb?
The most obvious danger of opening a zip bomb is that it can crash your computer or delete important files.
However, there is also the possibility that a zip bomb could contain malware or viruses that could infect your system.
If you accidentally open a zip bomb, it is important to scan your computer for viruses immediately.
How can you identify a zip bomb?
Generally speaking, you cannot tell if a file is a zip bomb just by looking at it.
They can present themselves as a very tiny, harmless file, but then they explode into lots of larger files.
However, there are some signs that may indicate that a file is malicious.
For example, if you receive an email with an attachment and the sender is someone you do not know, or if the email seems to be unsolicited, be wary of opening it.
In addition, many malicious files will have extensions like “.exe”, “.zip,” or “.vbs.” If you see one of these extensions on an attachment, do not open it unless you’re 100% sure you can trust the source!
Two Types of Zip Bombs
A recursive zip bomb is a type of zip bomb that contains two or more compressed files. When these files are decompressed, they each uncompress into two more files, and so on. This process can continue until there are too many decompressed files for the system to handle, causing it to crash.
A non-recursive zip bomb only contains one compressed file. When this file is decompressed, it expands into many small files—usually billions—that quickly overwhelm the system and cause it to crash.
What is the purpose of a zip bomb?
Zip bombs are created for malicious purposes, such as crashing email servers or taking down websites.
In some cases, they can be used as a prank or as part of a protest. For example, in 2011, members of the hacking group Anonymous created a recursive zip bomb called “signal 111” as part of their protests against Internet censorship in Egypt.
How can you protect yourself from zip bombs?
The best way to protect yourself from zip bombs is to be cautious about what emails you open and what attachments you click on.
If you do not know the sender, do not open the email.
In addition, be wary of any email with an attachment that has an unusual extension.
If you are unsure about whether or not a file is safe at work, do not hesitate to contact technical support for help before opening it.
Use an Antivirus Program
With so much of our lives taking place online, it’s crucial to take steps to protect ourselves from malicious software and hackers.
One way to do this is to use an antivirus program with zip bomb detection. Most modern major antivirus programs like Avast and Norton include protection against Zip Bombs.
By detecting and deleting these files before they’re opened, we can help to keep our devices safe from harm.
So if you’re concerned about cybersecurity, be sure to install an antivirus program with zip bomb detection. It could just save your devices from a serious attack.
Avoid Downloading from Unknown Websites
When it comes to internet safety, it is important to only interact with reputable sites.
Countless sites on the web are not secure, and downloading files from these sites can put your computer at risk.
Don’t trust pop-up windows that ask you to download software.
Always look for the lock symbol next to the URL in your browser. This indicates the website has some form of security authentication. Not having the lock is a sign that you should avoid the website.
Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to downloading software from unknown websites.
Wrapping it Up
Zip bombs can be dangerous, but luckily there are ways to protect yourself and your devices from them.
By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can stay safe and secure while using the internet.
Remember to be cautious when opening emails, use an antivirus program with zip bomb detection and only download files from trusted websites.
By following these simple steps, you can help keep your devices safe from malicious software.
Help your Friends & Family avoid Zip Bombs by using the Share Buttons Below. I appreciate you helping to spread the word about my Free Daily Tech Tips! 🙂