It's just as important to protect your online identity as it is to lock your front door, experts say. (WRDW-TV / July 7, 2011)
News 12 First at Five / Thursday, July 7, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- We do just about everything online now from connecting with our friends to shopping to paying our bills. However, if you're not careful doing these things, you could lose valuable personal information to hackers.
"It's not easy, but it's getting easier [to hack] and getting more doable," said ASU Information and Decision Technologies Professor Dr. Todd Schultz.
And once the hacking is done, experts say your information is at risk. They also say if you've been hacked, someone else probably has, too.
"It's rare, though, that hacks come from working through and figuring out somebody's password," Schultz said. "Usually the hacks are a little more lower level attacks at the big computers, the servers that are managing the system."
Servers like Sony's Playstation Network that was hacked a few months ago. Hackers stole thousands of users' passwords.
Even though experts say there's not much you can do if hackers get into big companies' servers, there are things you can do to keep yourself as protected as possible.
Use strong passwords with uppercase and lowercase letters. Make sure your passwords have numbers and punctuation signs in them, too.
Also, be sure to answer any security questions wrong intentionally so people have a hard time figuring them out.
The big rule, experts say, is to think before you click.
"It's a little bit like any good habit," Schultz said. "Brushing your teeth everyday. Locking your doors."
Even if your doors are dead-bolted online, experts say you can never be too careful.
"There are some neighborhoods that obviously you would not even walk into or drive through," Schultz said. "Same thing leaving email addresses or even comments and postings online."
Schultz said one of the biggest hacks is when you're surfing the Web, and a window pops up saying you have viruses on your computer. These windows usually offer to clean your computer for you. Schultz says that couldn't be further from the truth.
Another piece of advice Schultz offered -- if you bank online -- is to check your URL bar. That's the bar at the top of your screen. Before your bank's web address should be 'https://." The "s" after "http" means your bank uses a secure server that is more difficult to hack.
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Kaspersky Lab warns users about the emergence online of a new version of the Gpcode ransomware program.
The program spreads via malicious websites and P2P networks.
Kaspersky Lab products detect the program as Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Gpcode.ax.
You can read more on our blog.
Kaspersky Lab is monitoring a new email worm which is currently spreading. Emails spreading the worm say “Here you have” in the subject line.
We detect the worm as Email-Worm.Win32.VBMania.
While the servers hosting related downloads have been taken down, we are keeping customers updated and protected against any new variants.
Net-Worm.Win32.Kido exploits a critical vulnerability (MS08-067) in Microsoft Windows to spread via local networks and removable storage media.
The worm disables system restore, blocks access to security websites, and downloads additional malware to infected machines.
Users are strongly recommended to ensure their antivirus databases are up to date. A patch for the vulnerability is available from Microsoft.
The new Gpcode variant encrypts files with extensions DOC, TXT, PDF, XLS, JPG, PNG, CPP, H etc. on hard drives using an RSA algorithm with a 1024-bit key.
After encrypting files, the virus leaves a text file in the folder next to the encrypted files with following message:
Currently, we detect the new variant, but we are unable to crack the 1024-bit key. Our analysts are continuing to work on both the key and the virus to resolve this issue.
Kaspersky Lab recommends that all Internet users enable maximum protection from malicious code and network attacks on their computers, refrain from executing suspicious programs received from untrustworthy sources and back up any important information on their computers.
Detection of Virus.Win32.Gpcode.ak was added to Kaspersky Anti-Virus signature databases yesterday, on June 4th, at 15:39 GMT. Please make sure to update if you haven’t already.
If you have fallen victim to Gpcode.ak, try to contact us using another computer connected to the Internet. DO NOT RESTART or POWER DOWN the potentially infected machine. Contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us the exact date and time of infection, as well everything you did on the computer in the 5 minutes before the machine was infected: which programs you have executed, which websites you have visited, etc. We'll try and help you recover any data that has been encrypted.
For more information about the malicious program, please read our weblog.
A few hours before this point, there was a noticeable increase in mail traffic of an earlier modification of Warezov - Warezov.do which featured in the October 2006 Top 20.
If you are using Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 or Kaspersky Internet Security 6.0 with Proactive Protection turned on, new variants will be detected without the need to update your antivirus databases.
A full description of Email-Worm.Win32.Warezov.nf is now available in the Virus Encyclopaedia.