Hackers compete in ingenuity to find malware capable of sabotaging our computer systems. Here are the most common computer threats, to give users the means to defend themselves and recognize them after a few scans.
Botnet: a relay hub for online threats
A botnet is a malicious network of hundreds or even thousands ofzombie computers. The greater the number of infected machines, the more difficult it will be to eradicate the botnet. The main targets of hackers are computers without up-to-date anti-spam and anti-virus software. All infected machines are remotely controlled by the hackers. Once they have the required number of zombie computers, they can launch their attack. The possibilities offered by botnets are numerous.
Botnet threats perpetrated by hackers
Spam is the main online threat relayed by the botnet. Once the hacker decides to run the malware, a spam message can be sent to several thousand machines in just a few minutes. In recent years, spam content has been promoting aphrodisiacs, slimming products and online games. To combat spam, users can use anti-spam software and the spam signal, which will soon be available on certain web mails.
With the botnet, hackers are able to impersonate users. Posing as a public authority, they collect the user’s personal data, such as password, date of birth, address, credit card number, etc. using social engineering or phishing methods. Only by limiting the amount of personal information disclosed on the Internet can users protect themselves against this online threat.
Malware is software designed to destroy the user’s computer system. The most common malware carried by botnets are worms and viruses, although they are not the only ones involved. They spread very quickly via email, the Internet, file sharing, visiting a website or using a peripheral device such as a USB stick, camera, MP3 player, and so on. As a solution, IT security professionals suggest that users adopt a digital signature to authenticate their emails and guarantee their content.
TheDDOS or denial-of-service attack carried out by hackers aims to paralyze all services on zombie machines. They use this malicious system to destroy the botnet network once they’ve reached their goal.
Countries all over the world are contributing to the fight against online threats. Europe is considering punishing cybercrime with a prison sentence. But until now, only the adoption of effective antivirus and antispam software, plus vigilance on the part of the user, can effectively protect your computer against online threats.