Where are all these Cyber Attacks Coming From?
Cyber-warfare utilizes techniques of defending and attacking on-line digital information and computer networks that transport that data. We are aware of the evidence of Cyber-warfare, as it is happening to companies and individuals almost daily. Chances are you have been or will be a victim in your life.
For companies it often involves financial records. For individuals it may affect your personal computer, or the sharing of your personal information without your knowledge or permission.
A number of techniques are utilized to conduct Cyber-attacks. Attacks take two forms; Syntactic and Semantic. Syntactic attacks occur through the use of Malware. Malware takes on various forms including, but not limited to viruses, computer worms, spyware, Trojan horses and other malicious programs.
Examine the most common types of Malware:
Viruses are self-replicating programs, that can attach itself to another program or file in order to reproduce.
Computer Worms do not need another file or program to copy itself, but is a self-sustaining program. Worms replicate over a network using protocols.
Spyware is software that gathers information about a person or organization without their knowledge or consent. It then sends this information to another entity without the persons consent.
One company, the Norse Corporation has an on line visualization of just a small portion of the Cyber Attacks occurring in real time. This map provides a glimpse into the type of attack, the source, and the target of the attacks. Norse refers to this as the IPViking Live Threat Map. Norse claims that the live attack map, is a visualization of just a tiny portion, of the data processed by the Norse DarkMatter™ platform and provides a glimpse into the attacks in real time. Click on the image below to see for yourself!
What can the average PC user do to protect himself? These three are a great start!
♦ 1: Make sure your personal computer is protected. For Windows users, install and maintain an antivirus program. The free one from Microsoft is all you need. Make sure you are protected from other forms of Malware, by installing and periodically running a Malware detection program. Running it in real time is even better. We recommend every user download and install Malwarebytes. Make sure the protection signatures are up to date for both. Make sure your firewall is turned on, in either your router or PC(s) or both.
♦ 2: Make sure you use secure passwords when accessing the Web and on your computer. Don’t use the same password on any important site that would have access to your credit card, such as shopping sites, or your bank(s). We will cover some the guidelines for generating, using and managing all your secure passwords in a later article.
♦ 3: Remember anything that is uploaded to the web, via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Cloud Services, YouTube, other social medial sites, or even the World Wide Web – never goes away. To demonstrate this, travel back in time to by visiting the The History of the WEB.
Enjoy your time on line but travel safely!