Sunday, April 14, 2013

Viruses and Spyware - What You Need To Know Part 1

In Part 1, I want to highlight some basic do's and dont's.

These are not exhaustive, but they do serve as a solid platform to work from.

So in no particular order, they are:


DO NOT open e-mail attachments with the following file extensions, even if you know the sender: .ade .adp .asx .bas .bat .chm .cmd .com .cpl .crt .exe .hlp .hta .inf .isp .isp .js .jse .lnk .mda .mdb .mde .mdz .msc .msi .msp .mst .pcd .pif .prf .reg .scf .scr .sct .shb .shs .url .vb .vbe .vbs .wsc .wsf .wsh

Even though the.doc/x &.xls/x file extensions have not been mentioned above, BE CAREFUL. Word & Excel documents can contain harmful Macros (A mini-program which will execute a series of commands in series). Also, it is now possible to infect a computer through some image file formats, primarily the WMF format, and recently JPG and BMP formats. This vulnerability can be addressed by making sure that your system is up to date with all Microsoft security patches. In addition, Adobe PDF files can be crafted to incorporate malicious content, so make sure you keep Adobe Reader up to date too.

DO NOT use Floppy Disks or USB Drives from unknown sources unless scanned first using your antivirus software, & even then be careful.

DO NOT believe any e-mail that tells you to delete Windows files stating that the virus cannot be detected by antivirus software. A lot of the time this is a hoax that tricks you into deleting critical Windows system files.

Monday, April 8, 2013

How CyberCrime Works

Because of the exponential increase in the amount of people using the Internet, it has become more and more rewarding to be a cybercriminal. Vast amounts of Dollars are moved online amongst individuals and corporations everyday, its a huge industry and the stage is set for the larger players to come and play - The organized crime. No longer is the lone wicked computer programmer the leading hazard around. The top crime bosses swiftly realized the financial prospect that's before them and so they grabbed it. At present organized crime is way more sophisticated than we're used to see on television. They hire hackers, they have scam websites and even Research and development teams that constantly try to develop the next best way to steal cash.
Here are several statistics from Symantec concerning the scale of cybercrime.

There are 556 Million cyber crime victims a year(156 Million a day!).
The worldwide cost of cybercrime is 110 Billion Dollars.
2/3 of online adults have been victims of cyber crimes sometime in their lifetime.


Classification: Malware is general term used to refer to a malicious application or script. Malware can be, a Virus, a worm (much like a virus, but with somewhat different properties) a Trojan horse or a rootkit.Trojans are programs that specialize in taking control of the infected computer and Rootkits are the concealment experts, specializing in embedding themselves in machines and hiding numerous mischievous processes from the user.

Friday, April 5, 2013

How to Identify Spoofing Attacks and How You Can Deal With Them

Being a computer owner and Internet user, you may have already encountered the phrase "spoofing attack" or simply "spoofing." What exactly do these terms refer to? The terms were coined from the word "spoof" which was first introduced by British entertainer and comic actor Arthur Roberts in 1884, when he devised a game of the same name that involves cunning and dishonesty. In time the term would represent an insulting copy of an individual or a trick or a fraudulent scheme hatched on some unwitting victim. How the term came to be used today can be likened to the term "virus" that now refers to a malicious program or software that harms computers, thus the accompanying term "antivirus," which is the program that is used to deter or eliminate viruses from laptops and PCs.

Nowadays, the word "spoof" is now being used to describe malicious or deceptive intentions and it is most often linked to cybercriminal or fraudulent schemes.

When the term is used in the context of e-mail, spoofing is fabricating an e-mail message to make it appear that it came from one sender when in fact it came from another. This happens when you have an inactive e-mail box or account that you had not opened in a long time and then it suddenly sends out e-mails that you never had a hand in transmitting. You should be concerned by this because this indicates that spammers and hackers are targeting you to access their fake e-mails, messages that you usually ignore. By opening their false e-mail messages, these cybercriminals would like you to answer to their e-mails and in the process supply them with your personal and financial information, things that you otherwise would never give to other persons.