LJWorld.com weblogs Common cents
Danger, cyberspace ahead
Danger zone. Enter at your own risk.Perhaps that is a message that should appear on a computer screen each time anybody logs onto the Internet.How dangerous is it?In 2008 an average of 35,000 malware samples were detected each day by Panda Security’s PandaLabs. Of those, 22,000 of them were new infections, according to a news release about the firm’s annual malware report. It says the total malware threats detected exceeded 15 million during the year, which was 5 million more than the company projected.Nearly 70 percent of new malware incidents were Trojans, which are designed to steal confidential data, including bank accounts and passwords.But rogue antivirus programs represent the cyberspace threat that increased the most. These are adware programs that attempt to trick the computer user into believing that their computer has been severely infected by dangerous malware and offer paid solutions to remove the infections.Another major threat comes from banker Trojans, which focus solely on stealing bank account information. They lurk in the background of a computer’s memory and only activate when the user accesses certain bank accounts.More information can be found at pandasoftware.com.Computer security companies in general tell users to make sure anti-virus and anti-spyware programs are kept updated and used frequently to scan computer systems. Programs that block threats are also available.If there is any good news coming from the dangers of cyberspace it is that successful phishing attacks are not worth the trouble for the attackers, according to SearchSecurity.com. It reported that two researchers found that too many people are attempting to make money this way by trying to trick people to reveal passwords and account information. More people are trying to be, uh, phishermen because the tools that make it easier to do are available to those who are less tech savvy.Phishing emails clog systems and have made computer users more wary of those types of emails.