Thursday, September 11, 2008

Be wary during you birthday and other important events

Sounds like a weird advice, don’t you think?

Well, last July 4, 2007 I received an email from my best friend in Boston and the email said I had an Independence Day greeting from America. When I opened the email, it said that I need to click the link and be taken to another website where I could view the greeting card. I could have been the biggest dork on earth had I clicked the linked: a combination of four set of numbers better known as IP address! Who are they fooling? – me the IT professional? An elementary student could immediately recognize the link to be an IP address, which was a very glaring indication that there was something fishy going on

The emails contain the following subjects and people should delete them immediately:

Happy Fourth of July
Independence Day Celebration
July 4th Fireworks Show
America the Beautiful
God Bless America
Your Nations Birthday

I tried looking for information about the Trojan on Google and learned that when one clicks on the link which, as I said, comes in the IP address format, one is taken to a zombie computer that hosts the JSecard-A Trojan downloader. A code which is called Mal/Dorf-C is then immediately downloaded and installed into to the victim's computer.

These shameless, malicious spammers, who I think are not even technology savvy and are just mediocre marketing people trying to take advantage of vulnerable people, have no qualms at all at tricking people by using important events up to international stature!

For those who may not be aware, Trojans are malicious codes that install somewhere in the back of the computer without the owner's knowledge. It is actually taken from the Greek Trojan Horse which was used by soldiers to win the battle in the guise of a giant wooden horse gift but actually contained soldiers.

A perfect example of how a Trojan works is the program called "waterfalls.scr". This program deceives people by making it appear as a beautiful waterfalls screensaver, which it actually does, but in the back, the program would open some computer ports so that hackers and other evil computer people can have access to the computer's resources. This would also open to cyber thieves the private information, including credit card numbers and even passwords, of the unsuspecting computer user.

As a safeguard, we should always use the latest anti virus and other protection software and regularly get updates. A firewall is also a very important tool for one who is on the internet. My firewall always prompts me for permission for any incoming or outgoing access to the internet so I know everything that passes through my computer.

The internet is a jungle of different kinds of beast. Millions have been lost to online thief. If one is not careful, he may lose not just computer hardware by being physically damaged by malicious codes but his bank savings as well. Worse, one may be penniless on his birthday!

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