Terry Cutler – The Ethical Hacker
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Why and how hackers and scammers pick you


Let’s talk about how and why and how hackers and scammers pick you. You shouldn’t take it too personally because hackers and scammers often create a software script that indiscriminately spreads out to the Internet, searching for specific versions of the vulnerable software. 

And if you are vulnerable because you didn’t stay up to date, guess what? You’re about to have a bad day.

Why me?

You might ask, “Why would a hacker want to target my website? There’s no value in it?” The goal of malicious hackers is to steal traffic from your website by injecting code and embedding links that will infect your visitors. 

For example, a visitor could come to your website, and when you get to the home page, you notice a PDF file is automatically downloading to your computer. When you open it, you see your screen flicker a few times, and then BAMM, you’re done. 

You realize you didn’t install all those pesky adobe updates they warned about, and the virus took advantage of those vulnerabilities. The more infected visitors they have, the more crime they can commit using your infected computer.

Don’t wait until it’s too late

The biggest challenge in security today is that people don’t care about it until it’s too late. You remember hackers possess automated tools that scan for systems that still have the default settings from when you purchased the product, with the same default password. I’m sure you’ve seen news reports about people wondering how their baby monitors are being taken over and spied on over your IP camera system or smart home.

Some say the Internet is cursed. Viruses, scams, zombies, botnets, worms, Trojan horses, and logic bombs are just a few. How much do you know about these things? Have you ever heard about them? Did you know they’re a threat to you every hour of your day?

Let me give you an overview of what these are.

A virus is an infection that tries to spread itself to other computers in your home or corporate network. If it finds a vulnerable computer, it will infect it, and the cycle repeats.

A worm is malicious software that will penetrate an operating system and replicate itself by relying on security failures. Hackers simply build upon them to make them harder to detect. Like any form of malware, worms constantly evolve, making them a threat. 

I’m sure the name Trojan Horse reminds you of the ancient story of the Greeks hiding a bunch of elite soldiers inside the wooden horse, and the soldiers later attacked when the enemy least expected it. It’s a similar concept. Someone will send you software which appears legit and comes from a legitimate source, but the Trojan horse appears once you’ve finished installing the software. The Trojan Horse will damage, disrupt, steal, or inflict other harmful actions. 

Logic Bombs can be deadly. A logic bomb is a piece of software code intentionally inserted into a software system that will set off once certain conditions are met, like a time and date. They can lay dormant and undetected for long periods until it responds to the condition.

Rootkits are very dangerous. They stay hidden in an operating system and often disguise themselves as legit vital operating system files. This way, the anti-virus won’t pick them up. Once activated, it sets up a backdoor exploit and may deliver additional malware, such as ransomware, botnets, keyloggers or trojans.

Botnets and Zombies work hand in hand. A Zombie is an infected computer and is now a mindless Zombie to the Botnet system. Once your computer is part of a Botnet, it can commit computer crime. It could be dangerous because law enforcement can show up at your door saying you committed a computer crime when you didn’t. 

If you wish to learn more about consumer concerns like phone hacking, you can download our mobile app, FRAUDSTER, available on Apple and Android. You can learn more at www.FraudsterApp.com

If you’ve already downloaded the FraudsterApp, click the training icon on the home screen to learn to protect yourself.

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