Cyber Security-basic terminolgy

Security Threats and Safety Measures

With the wide spread use of internet, networks and computers have become increasingly susceptible to threats. These threats destroy data as well the programs that computers use. The objective of these threats is to destroy the data and to steal the vital information stored in computers. This information is used by the attackers for their

  1. viruses:

. It produces copies of itself and inserts them into other programs or files, in turn destroying the data and performing other malicious actions.

  • Macro viruses

Macro viruses can corrupt data, create new files, move text, flash colors, insert pictures, send files across the Internet, and format hard drives. Macro viruses are increasingly used as transport mechanisms to drop off even nastier bugs. Macro viruses modify registries, forward copies of it through emails, look for passwords, copy documents, and infect other programs

Example of macro Virus is Wazzo, W97M etc.

  1. WorMS

Worms are very similar to viruses in the manner that they are computer programs that replicate copies of themselves (usually to other computer systems via network connections)

Some examples of the worst Worms that impacted the web are as follows:

Jerusalem is one of the earliest worms that spread in 1987

In 2007 Storm Worm hit the computers. Once hit, your machine becomes part of a large botnet which performs automated tasks that range from gathering data on the host machine, to sending infected emails to others.

Since Worms spread mostly through the email attachments, the best ways to avoid them is using caution in opening emails. If the email is from an unidentified source, it is always best to delete it. Most of the time worms attach themselves to email

  1. trojan HorSeS

The Trojan program does not attach itself to the files like a virus nor replicate itself like a worm but it does provide unauthorized access to user’s computer.

They are mostly spread through internet downloads and online gaming programs.

This software is capable of taking over the functionality of your computer. An infected computer will begin to operate slowly and will exhibit pop-ups from time to time

The best way to avoid the Trojans is to adopt safe download practices.

  1. SPyWare

A Spyware as the name suggest is a program used to spy on the computer system. This program will try to get all the confidential and sensitive information such as your bank  account numbers, passwords etc. Then this confidential data is misused to access user’s accounts. Spyware can also change the configuration of your computer, generally without obtaining your consent first

Once installed, the Spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers.

SpyWare have the ability to monitor keystrokes, scan files on the hard drive, snoop other applications, such as chat programs or word processors

Some of the common Spywares are CoolWebSearch, Internet optimizer and Zango

  1. MalWare

Malware is short for “malicious software.” Malware is any kind of unwanted software that is installed without your adequate consent. The intent of the malware is to damage the data or functionality of the computer or network. In fact all the threats mentioned above such as virus, Trojans etc are examples of Malware

  1. SPaMS

The term “spam” refers to unsolicited commercial email (UCE) or unsolicited bulk email (UBE). It is flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it.

The most commonly seen spam includes the following:

Phishing scams, a very popular and dangerous form of email fraud

Foreign bank scams or advance fee fraud schemes

Other “Get Rich Quick” or “Make Money Fast” (MMF) schemes

  1. Hackers and Crackers

Hackers were the gifted programmers who gain access to the systems or network to show case the security loop holes to the administrators.

Cracker was coined for such activist who had intentions of doing malicious activities.

  1. antI vIruS tools

Anti Virus tools are the software programs that help us detect the virus in emails or files and hence protect our computers. These tools can detect virus, worms, Trojans as well as spyware and adware. They block us from visiting unsafe websites, and also downloading unsafe programs from such websites. They protect us from identity thefts and threats from phishing websites. There are several commercial antivirus softwares available such
as Norton, Mcafee, K7, Quickheal etc.

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