Friday, July 24, 2009

Why do You keep getting spyware and viruses?

This is a query that has riddled both antivirus companyes and computer users since the beginning of high-speed internet use. This post outlines the 2 main techniques hackers use to infect a home user’s PC.

Hackers will often reverse engineer security software to figure out how it detects spyware threats. This means, they study the means of detection, so they can devise methods of getting around your antivirus software the next time. Reverse engineering has long been used by hackers and many reverse engineered threats can be eliminated by keeping your antivirus software updated and upgraded on a constant basis.

Hackers have figured out an even easier way to gain access to your computer, however. They use social engineering to exploit the human user.
The most common methods of social engineering are:

* Cleverly crafted fraudulent emails
* Email attachments that pretend to be items of great importance
* Free offers that have hidden programs in them
* Web sites that silently try to sneak software onto your machine, when you click on a link.
Teens are the primary users of file swapping software (Limewire, KaZaa, BitTorrent, etc.), frequent visitors to crack sites (to avoid paying for software) and live on social network sites, (i.e., which are all targeted by the bad guys.

Residential computers tend to have a much greater level of virus and spyware infections, primarily because of the way they are used.

Hackers understand their victims and always go after the weakest ones. In this case, it’s the average residential user.

If you can stop this behavior, you can stop the infections. Any seasoned computer person can take a look at the programs you have installed and determine if you have a user abuse problem.


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