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Cyber Security? Say What?

Cyber Security is the job of any IT Department, how ever the US Gov IT Departments don't use it...

So what is Cyber Security?

Ok, we know what security is, and we know that the use of the internet is called cyber space.

In a nutshell it is securing your data against theft, destruction, or misdirection.

The first two are fairly easy by having a reputable set (notice I did not say "suite") of programs that detect and eradicate viruses, trojan, key loggers, spyware, and malware.

The last one is fairly new, the original virus was devised in the late 1990's, originating in Russia, called the Zeus virus.

The idea is simplicity but the execution of the virus is complicated and very sophisticated.

Sample of how it works:

The virus sleeps until the target opens their browser, then the virus watches for the browser to connect to a banking institution.

When the target computer has connected to the bank the virus waits for a transaction involving a transfer of money, when the target computer instructs the bank to transfer an amount of money to another entity the virus changes the amount and the destination. It leaves the original amount and destination alone.

If the bank software detects the large amount and the different destinations the transaction is flagged and additional security mechanisms are invoked.

Normally the software will ask for additional information before authorizing the transaction such as a pin or other security measures.

At this time the virus reverts the transaction back to the original amount and destination.

Once the target computer sends the requested information the virus then changes the amounts and destination back to where it wants the money to sent when stolen.

The last thing the virus tries to do once the theft has occurred is to change the amounts and destination in the banks data to hide it's tracks, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.

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My banks do not ask for additional security information while doing a transfer of funds so this would be a good tip off that I have the virus, your bank may have different requirements. And if it did then I would cancel the transaction by closing the browser and not sending the additional information then search for the virus!

If you would like to know more about this virus you can read up on it here:

http://www.malwarehelp.org/find-and-remove-zeus-zbot-banking-trojan-2009.shtml

If you think you have this virus AVG had a free remover program here:

http://free.avg.com/us-en/remove-zeus-zbot-trojan program no longer available...

Once you have removed the virus using the link from malwarehelp.org check all the file names by searching your computer and look at your registry with the listed registry entry samples.

As always "If it seem to be to good to be true then it isn't!" and clicking on links in spam or dubious emails is a sure fire way to get one of these viruses that will empty your bank account if you do online banking!

Did I get hit by this virus? No, the reason I bring this up is I was watching a program about the increase in hacking attacks on banks and institutions lately.

You can protect your computer and data:

  • Anti programs - virus, trojan, key logger, spyware, and malware (I do not recommend the "Security Suites" for various reasons).
  • Firewall
  • Proxy

Note: Malware that attaches to your browser or other program that is allowed to connect to the internet can not be defeated by a Firewall or Proxy.

The only way that I know of to do online banking safely is to have a computer or virtual computer that you use ONLY for that purpose, no email, no surfing, no downloading to it.

Do I have such a computer? Not yet but I am thinking about it...

You need to really think of Cyber Security for your data.

P.S.

07/28/14 - The 'open net' hypesters say the passing of the so called "Net Neutrality Act" being considered by the Congress of the USA will enhance your internet security. Nothing could be further from the truth, this Act will only increase your cost to surf the internet and lower you access to the internet.

04/05/15 - With misdirection, propaganda, and secret deals the US FCC has implemented a "Net Neutrality " regulation. It will do nothing to stop the spam, theft, or lower the cost for you. It is reported that the increase in TAXES for your access and the implementation of some of the regulations will cost the American citizen over 11 BILLION Dollars per year to access the internet and will drop your access speed by a minimum of half of what you currently have and WILL NOT increase your cyber security... Way to go American voters!



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