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Hackers: They’re back and are coming to get you! Steps to Fight Back

January 31st, 2011 | Security,Small Business,Small Business Tips | 1 Comment »

What’s back? Hacker’s toolkits! There are new hacker’s toolkits out there that are user friendly. So, your computer could be in danger from any number of foes. It could be the kid next door, the person sitting across the table in Starbucks, some computer geek in an internet cafe in India. How do we know this? Symantec released a new report about this. These toolkits are priced anywhere from $40 to $40,000.

So, what exactly do these toolkits do?  They let people who have a little knowledge of coding to design malware to hack your computer. The big difference between these toolkits and the original ones is that these new toolkits use many different attack vectors. With the old toolkits, once you knew the software patch, the malware couldn’t get in. The toolkits exploit the vulnerabilities in a computer. Usually the malware gets in through the web browser and its plug-ins.

Then, the software usually installs a keylogger which steals things like online passwords and turn computers into zombies who infect other computers. Why through the web browser? Since most of the major software holes have been patched up, it has become harder to get malware onto a computer.Signs show that these toolkits are pretty effective. According to PC World, $70 million was stolen from bank accounts using the hacking toolkit Zeus. Plus these kits are often like regular software. They get constant updates, so they have the newest and most potent version of malware.  These toolkits are also attacking multiple software at once, so chances are that one application may be unprotected and the attack is more likely to succeed.

So, what can be done to protect your computer from these threats? Just the usual of keeping all of your system software, virus definitions, etc.. You also shouldn’t use Internet Explorer, but Firefox and Chrome are targets too. [The article didn't mention anything about Opera though.] You can switch to Linux, but it takes a while to get used to. [I haven't used Linux, so I don't have an idea of how different it is. All I know is that it's different.] You can also install a browser extension, such as FlashBlock(For both Firefox and Chrome), that’ll block any flash code on a website unless you opt to let it run.(YouTube is whitelisted.) Also make sure you’re using a reputable brand of antivirus softarware.

So what do you do to protect your computer from these threats and what do you think about these toolkits?

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One Response

  1. [...] to determine which of the shortened links are trustworthy.  Remember that article I wrote on hacking toolkits? Well many of these toolkits are used to initiate these malware attacks, because many of them use [...]

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