Do you have an open back door to your PC?
Once upon a time when your computer got smacked with a virus a big RED signal would pop up on your screen. Today the cyber criminals have perfected some of their programs so that some virus software never detects the intrusion. Hackers do not want your computer to completely crash because their more interested in what kind of connection you have or the speed and recourses your computer consist of.
A top notch computer operating 100% is a hackers dream comes true. Oftentimes, people miss important updates either from Microsoft or some free or off the shelf software. This presents the criminal an invitation to the open back door to your computer. Without your knowledge they can log your keystrokes.
What does this mean? You may have purchased something online and the program the criminals designed allows them to steal passwords or credit card information you enter on websites just by your keystrokes.
Also, with that open back door it allows hackers to link your computer with other computers to send out spam. This infects all computers connected with that one and they call this a “botnet”. Is it a virus or malicious code or is it a trojan or a worm. Personally I believe it falls in all those categories. So how do you know if your computer is infected by a “botnet”?
- Your computer is operating or experiencing slow to load pages. Some software or programs criminals develop can mingle within your operating system to look as thought it is part of the system.
- A sure sign of your computer having “adware” is constant pop-ups that won’t go away.
- Your search results are directing you to a site something way different from your search.
How do I know this? Well I was a victim of a “botnet” and believe me when I tell you this; you do not want to go through this nightmare. It is just like someone entering your home without your knowledge. For weeks I was being called on the carpet for spamming.
Finally with the help of the investigator and my husband, they found the culprit nestled in my registry sending out thousands of email from my ISP. The trace led back to somewhere in Russia. We had 5 computers on our network hub and my dear sweet husband had to reformate all five. He was not a happy camper.
Do you remember several years ago a school teacher from Connecticut was charged with exposing her class to porn sites? The computer belonged to the school and forensic specialist found no firewall and the antivirus program was outdated. They also found a number of spyware, and adware tracking cookie programs. The question is not whether the teacher or the school is responsible; it is to educate the public about the hazards of the Internet when their computers are not protected.
Last week when Twitter was hit with a DDoS. The public learned what that phrase means “denial of service”. So where did this attack originate from? If it came from one big server then the trace back would be easy to block or stop the attacks before they begin. So where did this attack come from? I believe it generated from many if not thousands of computers linked by a “botnet”.
It is so important to have your PC up-to-date with all the updates from Microsoft and your personal software you use for your firewall, antivirus and spyware. Most people want to touch any key on their computers and their off surfing in cyber space. It’s like your car; get in, turn the key and you are off and running. Few are interested in what is under the hood.
We are all aware of the hazards of working a business on the Internet. Cyber Crime has become an epidemic and that is a FACT. Who is going to police 600 million computer users worldwide? The FTC has reported 27.3 million Americans are victims of identity theft. As the economy spirals down the scammers look for the next un-educated soon to be victim of identity theft. It is time to learn how your personal data can be stolen.
What is more alarming, 1 in 5 children receive online sexual solicitations. There are an estimated 19 million Hackers targeting families and small businesses attempting to steal identities, extort money and take over computers entirely. When you log onto the Internet you are linking your computer with 600 million other computers worldwide. This is very scary.
It is clear that the Internet is becoming a much more dangerous place to operate, especially for individuals and small businesses. Moreover, the Federal Laws that are in place, such as HIPPA, FACTA and GLBA which have jurisdiction over people and companies that possess and maintain non-public information of others, are incredibly stern both in word and punishment.
Federal Agencies and any State can enforce this law, Gramm, Leach, Bliley Safeguard Rule. This applies to any organiation that maintains personal financial information regarding their clients or customers. This can also include, Broker, Car Dealers, Accountants, Financial Planners and Real Estate Agents just to name a few. To learn more about these laws go to http://www.ftc.gov Search Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.