About life, universe, radio, trojans, cybercrime and everything…

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…ok, maybe a bit less about the universe and everything, but definitely about radio, trojans and cybercrime. 🙂

Yesterday I was again given the opportunity to talk to their listeners about cybersecurity by Community Radio Youghal 104FM. As I have already pointed out in a previous blog ’Listen to the radio’, along with my gratitude for giving me a chance to help their listeners stay safe online, it is very important for people to stay informed about latest threats, so that they may better know how to avoid them.

It is the cybercriminals’ job to keep coming up with new tricks (and new variations of old ones) all the time, in order to keep making money off their victims. According to one of our surveys, one in four Irish has lost money because of cybercrime, with total damages going into hundreds of millions. On the other side, in the IT security business, it is our job to prevent that from happening. A cat and mouse, cops and robbers game, but one in which computer users can actually make a huge difference if they take proper defensive measures.

In yesterday’s radio chat, the most attention was paid to a Trojan, that’s been hitting Irish mailboxes lately, disguised as a purchase order email. As was pointed out, the cybercriminals are using people’s curiosity to get them to install the malware on their own computers, but the scary thing about the Trojan itself is that people won’t even know it’s there. It doesn’t crash or slow down their computer; it just sits there quietly, making their computer completely vulnerable to cybercriminals to remotely control it for whatever nefarious purposes they chose. They could make it into a ‘zombie’, a part of a botnet, used to send spam mail, participate in hacking attacks or for distributing illegal content. All without the owner knowing anything about it, until, possibly, the law enforcement shows up at their door…

So, this is just one of the many types of threats preying on the unwary, there are many new ones being devised by the bad guys as we speak. But the internet is not that unlike the real world. Sure there are dangers and bad people around, but if you act responsibly and are aware of your surroundings, it is a fun and pleasant thing to explore. So rather than imagine the cyber-world as a dangerous place, know its bad sides and avoid them. Want to know ‘how to’? ESET Ireland’s blog’s ‘how to’ selection is a good place to start. Or listen to the radio. 😉

by Urban Schrott, ESET Ireland


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