Guide to the Eternal Information Security Threats

The world might have moved ahead of its time and changed its age-old ways, but one phrase that still holds true is “Stranger danger!” Remember the times when you were constantly warned to beware of strangers whenever you were out there alone because your well-wishers wanted to protect you from any unforeseen danger? The phrase has again resurfaced today and now holds its implication in the cyber world. The fact that around one-third of the world’s computers are contaminated with various kinds of malicious software should be a serious warning for all the users to buckle up their

Today, we will be analyzing and explaining the biggest network security threats.

Computer viruses

The most common term in the world of software malfunctioning and cybersecurity is of course – computer virus. It is one of the most feared menaces. Reports show that about 33% of the household computers are infected with some kind of malware. More than half of these infections are computer viruses.

A computer virus is a software, specifically designed to spread from one computer to the another. Viruses usually are transmitted through email attachments or reside on infected websites and get downloaded by unaware users. They can also infect your system by using zero-day vulnerabilities or via exploits. Once they find their source to enter, they do not stop at tainting your computer but spread to other computers connected to the same network.

Viruses can turn your computer into spam bot, clone and corrupt all the important information that include passwords, change the default settings of the computer, and is even capable of erasing crucial data from the hard drive.

Trojan horses

Similar to the function of the Trojan horse used in the Trojan War that was used to trick the opponents and bring the attacker in, the “Trojan horse” malware works the same way. It is a portion of code that deceives the user to run it voluntarily. It conceals itself under the veil of a legitimate program.

The most common spreading method is email. Trojan horses slyly enter your computer without you even knowing. They may arrive even from a known address and once you choose to open it, you automatically permit the malware to be downloaded in your computer. A trojan horse can also spread through false advertisements.

Once they find a way into your computer, they may record your keystrokes and thus steal passwords. They can also access the webcam, and again copy sensitive data.

Adware

Adware, as the name suggests, has clearly to do something with advertisements. It’s a software that is designed to track your daily online activities, collect information regarding the most visited sites and show rogue advertisements on all webpages.

Some companies depend on the adware as their income and try to install it together with free software. The clause related to Adware is deeply hidden in the User Agreement which most users do not really read. So, users grant permissions for adware operations. Adware can be stopped from entering your computer by carefully reading through the service agreements before installing any app.

Numerous popups and numerous unwanted redirects indicate you have adware on your device. Adware can reduce the speed of your Internet and processor. Adware, that is downloaded without approval poses a threat to the computer.

Spyware

Spyware functions in a manner that is close to adware and tries to penetrate your computer without you even knowing it. Like a spy, it stays in the system without your knowledge and keeps eyeing every your move. Some spyware has key-loggers in them that steal information you type.

Fake security software

One of the ways to breach your system uses relies on rogue security software. They are carefully enveloped into being misinterpreted as cool antivirus. This fake antivirus is always free. It scans your computer and shows a lot of found threats. Users assume that viruses attacked their computers. Later they require to buy a full version to be able to remove those viruses.

Rootkits

Unlike its predecessors, a rootkit is a bunch of software instruments that sanction admin-level access and remote control of computer networks or computers. Once they get access, they can download all different types of malware including viruses, adware, worms, and others.

Sometimes rootkits hide behind genuine software from trusted vendors that requires your permission to enable changes to the operating system. Meanwhile, getting this permission, the rootkit installs itself and waits for the hacker to initialize it.

Computer worms

A computer worm is a software that duplicates swiftly and spreads from one computer to another in the blink of an eye. It spreads by first attacking the target computer and all the computers connected to it and then from there move on to all possible devices, it is an unending vicious chain. However, often worms do not cause any noticeable harm to the computer. The quick spread of computer worms is caused by the exploitation of software vulnerabilities.

SQL injection attacks

SQL injection attacks target databases by taking advantage of a security vulnerability in it. With the help of SQL injections, hackers are capable to change or erase data completely. Today, SQL Injection attacks are posing a dangerous threat to cybersecurity. The numbers of SQL servers are increasing with each passing day, consequentially giving birth to new victims and new attacks.

Conclusion

With new types of malware being introduced every day, it is becoming extremely strenuous for the ordinary user to keep his computer and its networking secure. The best way to combat this is to aware and prepared. 

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About The Author
David Balaban
David Balaban is a computer security researcher with over 15 years of experience in malware analysis and antivirus software evaluation. David runs the Privacy-PC.com project which presents expert opinions on the contemporary information security matters, including social engineering, penetration testing, threat intelligence, online privacy and white hat hacking. As part of his work at Privacy-PC, Mr. Balaban has interviewed such security celebrities as Dave Kennedy, Jay Jacobs and Robert David Steele to get firsthand perspectives on hot InfoSec issues. David has a strong malware troubleshooting background, with the recent focus on ransomware countermeasures.

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