Types of Internet threats………
- Image SPAM
Image-based SPAM has increased in the past year, and a higher percentage is making it past SPAM filters. The reason this happens is the images are varied each time a message is sent out. SPAM images are just slightly changed each time the message is sent. The difference may be a change in the border, or the variance of one pixel, but the change is enough to get past traditional content and signature-scanning filters. These SPAM messages are compared to snowflakes, because each one looks similar, but is different. Every image is in fact unique, but from a distance it will look identical.
You receive an email that is made to look as though it comes from a legitimate company you normally do business with. The email, for example, might tell you that some sort of service normally provided to you is due to expire soon. The email directs you to a phony Web site made to look like the site of the company you do business with. Once there, you are asked to provide personal information — such as a credit card or Social Security number — so that your service can be continued.
- E-mail Spoofing
E-mail Spoofing is when an email message appears to have originated from one source when it actually was sent from another source. E-mail spoofing is often an attempt to trick the user into making a damaging statement or releasing sensitive information (such as passwords). Spoofed e-mail can range from harmless pranks to social engineering ploys. Examples of the latter include:
- E-mail claiming to be from a system administrator requesting users to change their passwords to a specified string and threatening to suspend their account if they do not comply.
- E-mail claiming to be from a person in authority requesting users to send them a copy of a password file or other sensitive information.
Windstream, as well as most legitimate businesses, WILL NEVER ask for any sensitive information in an e-mail.
- E-mail Borne Viruses
Viruses and other types of malicious code are often spread as attachments to e-mail messages. Before opening any attachments, be sure you know the source of the attachment. It is not enough that the mail originated from an address you recognize. Also, malicious code might be distributed in amusing or enticing programs. Never run a program unless you know it to be authored by a person or company that you trust. Also, don’t send programs of unknown origin to your friends or co-workers simply because they are amusing — they might contain a Trojan horse program.
- Chat Clients
Internet chat applications, such as instant messaging applications and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) networks, provide a mechanism for information to be transmitted bi-directionally between computers on the Internet. Chat clients provide groups of individuals with the means to exchange dialog, web URLs, and in many cases, files of any type.
Because many chat clients allow for the exchange of executable code, they present risks similar to those of email clients. As with e-mail clients, care should be taken to limit the chat client’s ability to execute downloaded files. As always, you should be wary of exchanging files with unknown parties.
- Overseas Money Transfer Scam
If an e-mail sounds too good to be true, then it is. You’ll receive an e-mail from someone claiming to represent a foreign government or someone formerly involved with a foreign government. The person will claim that, through a change in leadership or death, he or she has been left with a large amount of money. They will ask your help getting the money out of the country, and if you help you can receive a large share of the money. The message will go on to ask you to respond to the e-mail with bank account information and other personal information to help set up the transfer. The best thing you can do is ignore the e-mail and hit the delete button.
- Trojan Horse Programs
Trojan horse programs are a common way for intruders to trick you (sometimes referred to as social engineering) into installing back door programs. These can allow intruders easy access to your computer without your knowledge, change your system configurations, or infect your computer with a computer virus.
- Denial of Service Attack (DOS Attack)
Another form of attack is called a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. This type of attack causes your computer to crash or to become so busy processing data that you are unable to use it. In most cases, the latest patches will prevent the attack. It is important to note that in addition to being the target of a DoS attack, it is possible for your computer to be used as a participant in a denial-of-service attack on another system.
- Being an Intermediary for Another Attack
Intruders will frequently use compromised computers as launching pads for attacking other systems. An example of this is how distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) tools are used. The intruders install anagent (frequently through a Trojan horse program) that runs on the compromised computer awaiting further instructions. Then, when a number of agents are running on different computers, a singlehandler can instruct all of them to launch a denial-of-service attack on another system. Thus, the end target of the attack is not your own computer, but someone else’s — your computer is just a convenient tool in a larger attack.
- Modem Hijacking
This is perhaps one of the most prevalent scams on the Internet today. When you visit a web site, you’ll often see pop-up ads that ask you various questions and offer you a variety of services. To receive them, all you have to do is select yes on one or more ads. If you haven’t read the fine print, however, you can unwittingly be agreeing to have software downloaded to your modem, which then instructs your modem to make long distance calls to overseas pay-per-call services. These calls can result in hundreds of dollars in charges. This usually impacts dial-up customers, rather than broadband customers. Often you don’t know this has happened until you receive your next phone bill.
- Unprotected Windows Shares
Unprotected Windows networking shares can be exploited by intruders in an automated way to place tools on large numbers of Windows-based computers attached to the Internet. Because site security on the Internet is interdependent, a compromised computer not only creates problems for the computer’s owner, but it is also a threat to other sites on the Internet. The greater immediate risk to the Internet community is the potentially large number of computers attached to the Internet with unprotected Windows networking shares combined with distributed attack tools. Another threat includes malicious and destructive code, such as viruses or worms, which leverage unprotected Windows networking shares to propagate. There is great potential for the emergence of other intruder tools that leverage unprotected Windows networking shares on a widespread basis.
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