Computers, Science, Technology
Computers, Science, Technology

India-Forums

   

Hackers control PCs while users unaware

Salmanayesha IF-Sizzlerz
Salmanayesha
Salmanayesha

Joined: 11 March 2006
Posts: 12095

Posted: 21 September 2007 at 9:27pm | IP Logged
Friday September 21, 07:00 AM

PluggedIn: Hackers control PCs while users unaware

 

A few weeks ago Candace Locklear's office computer quietly started sending out dozens of instant messages with photos attached that were infected with malicious software.

She was sitting at her desk, with no sign that the messaging software was active. By the time she figured out what was going on, several friends and colleagues had opened the attachments and infected their computers. It took eight hours for a technician to clean up her computer. But because the malicious software worked so secretly, she's still not convinced that all's clear. "I'd like to think that it's gone. But I just don't know," said Locklear, 40, a publicist in San Francisco. "That's what is so frustrating." Computer security experts estimate that tens of millions of personal computers are infected with malicious software like the one that attacked Locklear's machine. Such programs, generally classified as malware, attack companies along with consumers. Some are keyloggers, recording every key stroke that the user enters -- sending valuable bank account information, passwords and credit card numbers to hackers. In July, hackers used keylogging software to gather passwords to databases at the U.S. Department of Transportation, consulting firm Booz Allen, Hewlett-Packard Co and satellite network company Hughes Network Systems, according to British Internet security software maker Prevx Inc. And other malware programs turn PCs into "zombies," literally giving hackers full control over the machine. The zombies can be instructed to act as servers, sending out tens of thousands of spam emails promoting counterfeit medications, luxury watches or penny stocks without the PC owner ever knowing about it. The computer that controls the zombies -- known as the command and control center -- is able to change the text of the spam depending on what his or her customer wants to sell. Monster Worldwide Inc said last month that confidential contact information of millions of its job seekers was stolen by criminals who used zombies. Contact data for 146,000 job seekers using the official U.S. government jobs Web site was also taken. Monster said it would beef up its security, but even with enhanced protection there are no guarantees. Security experts say that while companies and consumers need to be vigilant to protect themselves against Internet-borne threats, determined criminals are hard to beat. "I hate to scare people, but there is never 100 percent (security)," says Gadi Evron, a researcher with Internet security firm Beyond Security. "If you want to know for sure, never do anything with your computer and never connect to the Internet." Evron has organized conferences between government and industry researchers to fight hackers who set up botnets, or networks of millions of zombies. He said the picture painted by some presenters was depressing. "The problems are not getting solved. They are getting worse," he said. "The bad guys are making a lot of money." Still, he and other security experts recommend that PC users take basic precautions, including installing up-to-date security software, keeping current with updates that software providers distribute over the Web, and backing up files. There's a wide range of PC security software available, including ones that were recently updated or about to be introduced by BiDefender, CA Inc, Check Point's Zone Alarm, F-Secure Corp, Kaspersky Labs, McAfee Inc, Microsoft Corp, Prevx Corp, Symantec Corp's Norton Security and Trend Micro Inc. More important than security software, users need to monitor their own behavior. The bulk of malware is installed on computers by users who either click on a Web link or on a file that is attached to an email or instant message. PC users can greatly reduce the risk of infection by only visiting familiar Web sites and avoiding unknown attachments.

"You won't know you are infected until one day your ISP turns you off or restricts access or money starts disappearing from your bank account," said Adam O'Donnell, a senior research scientist with Cloudmark, which sells anti-spam software.

-mango- IF-Dazzler
-mango-
-mango-

Joined: 02 January 2007
Posts: 3541

Posted: 25 September 2007 at 3:51pm | IP Logged
I didnt know that! Ouch That's sad...
Anyways... thnx
patelsujal Newbie
patelsujal
patelsujal

Joined: 27 September 2007
Posts: 3

Posted: 27 September 2007 at 9:44pm | IP Logged
desi.1forum.biz

WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz
WillSmith456
WillSmith456

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6459

Posted: 30 September 2007 at 11:58am | IP Logged
ohh noooooooo Ouch Ouch Ouch
-Rakshu- IF-Dazzler
-Rakshu-
-Rakshu-

Joined: 28 January 2007
Posts: 3811

Posted: 06 October 2007 at 12:12am | IP Logged
ohh no yaar.....
Rakshita
Sai-licious IF-Rockerz
Sai-licious
Sai-licious

Joined: 08 December 2006
Posts: 6571

Posted: 06 October 2007 at 4:19pm | IP Logged
thanx for the article!!!!! really sad though...! but really helpful article, I'd also better take precautions!
  • Page 1 of 1

Go to top

Related Topics

  Topics Author Replies Views Last Post
Microsoft says Internet Explorer users at risk of

Author: Salmanayesha   Replies: 3   Views: 578

Salmanayesha 3 578 23 January 2009 at 10:35pm by aspardeshi123
Hackers hijack web search results!

Author: WillSmith456   Replies: 0   Views: 420

WillSmith456 0 420 29 November 2007 at 8:05am by WillSmith456
MSN charging users fee - Rumour unfolds

Author: Tearðrops   Replies: 6   Views: 839

Tearðrops 6 839 28 March 2007 at 11:29am by dannyk
Hackers! Are you protected enough?

Author: radha07   Replies: 3   Views: 604

radha07 3 604 16 March 2007 at 7:33am by kal-el

Forum Quick Jump

Forum Category / Channels
Forums

Disclaimer: All Logos and Pictures of various Channels, Shows, Artistes, Media Houses, Companies, Brands etc. belong to their respective owners, and are used to merely visually identify the Channels, Shows, Companies, Brands, etc. to the viewer. Incase of any issue please contact the webmaster.

Popular Channels :
Star Plus | Zee TV | Sony TV | Colors TV | SAB TV | Life OK

Quick Links :
Top 100 TV Celebrities | Top 100 Bollywood Celebs | About Us | Contact Us | Advertise | Forum Index