Why Criminals Want Your Computer
Technology with Integrity
By Tim Torian, Torian Group, Inc.
Viruses and spyware are no longer hobbies for kids with too much time on their hands. It is now big business. Malicious software, or Mal-ware, is created and delivered by organized crime. Here are some of the reasons they want control of your PC:
- Web hosting schemes, including: Spam Web sites; Phishing Web sites; Malware download sites; Child pornography servers; "Warez" servers or hosts for pirated software and movies.
- Zombie robot work (Bots): Relaying Junk mail; Denial of Service attacks, sometimes involving blackmail. Click Fraud – Getting money from pay per click advertisers; Rerouting hacking activities to hide the source, and Web proxy; Computing power for breaking CAPTCHA (the squiggly lines of numbers and letters many free Web mail services require you to solve) to gain access to email or other sites
- Email / Webmail relay. If they can gain access to your email account, it can be used for spamming, and to attempt access to any contacts you have for phishing. Sometimes they will try to get your friends to send them money by posing as you in an emergency.
- Account credentials. Gaining access to any accounts you have, particularly credit card, online ordering, banking etc. If possible they may be able to gain enough information to steal your identity, and set up new accounts in your name.
FTP accounts can be used to gain access to web sites which can then be set up to infect visitors, or for transferring illegal data and files. If you log in to work from home, this can give the criminal a doorway in to your work network.
- Software and game license keys can be resold.
Tim Torian has taught computer networking at the College of Sequoias and Cal Poly Extension. He has a BS in Computer Science, and has been consulting on computer networking for the past 30 Years. His industry certifications include: Cisco CCNA and CCNI, Microsoft MCSE. He was recognized as Entrepreneur of the year for 2008 by the Tulare County EDC. He is president of Torian Group, Inc. which provides a full range of Technology Consulting services to local business, including computer services, networking, web and custom software development. www.toriangroup.com