Most cyber attacks have an immediate malicious impact on the victim’s computer. If you unknowingly download ransomware in an email attachment, for example, it will typically lock your files instantly. With that said, some cyber attacks are designed to “wait” until a specific time to conduct their malicious activities. Known as logic bombs, they often go unnoticed by the victims whom they target. Only after the logic bomb has performed its malicious activities do victims acknowledge their presence.

Overview of Logic Bombs

A logic bomb is a form of malware that’s designed specifically to execute its malicious code when certain conditions are met. All forms of malware contain malicious code. After all, that’s what distinguishes malware from legitimate software. The malicious code in logic bombs, however, doesn’t execute upon delivery. Rather, it only executes when certain conditions are met, meaning the attack may go unnoticed for an extended period.

The Mechanics of Logic Bombs

How do logic bombs work exactly? With a logic comb, one or more conditions must be met before the malicious code is executed. Logic combs essentially rely on triggers to execute their malicious code, the most common being a date and time. A hacker may program a logic bomb to execute its malicious code on a specific date and time. When this date and time rolls around, the logic bomb will perform its attack.

Logic bombs can be programmed to perform a variety of malicious activities, some of which include the following:

  • Delete data
  • Steal data
  • Corrupting data
  • Consume system resources
  • Restrict or prevent user access
  • Create backdoors for hackers

How to Protect Against Logic Bombs

You can protect against logic bombs by using multiple layers of cybersecurity. You shouldn’t rely entirely on antivirus software. Antivirus software is undoubtedly useful for protecting against malware, including logic bombs, but it may not catch all instances of malware. Logic bombs don’t execute their malicious code immediately. Therefore, antivirus software may not discover them until it’s too late.

Using a firewall in conjunction with antivirus software will offer better protection against logic bombs. A firewall will scan traffic so that the logic bomb doesn’t make its way onto your computer.

Even with multiple layers of cybersecurity, it’s a good idea to regularly back up your business’s data. Creating backups takes time, but it will give you peace of mind knowing that you can restore your business’s data back to its original state in the event of a logic bomb.