Viruses are created by "hackers" or just plain thieves...
Feb, 2012 - I had a call over the week end from a friend. His computer not only was trashed it seems that someone had got a hold of his credit card information.
"To late to close the barn door, the horse has ran away."
Other than recovering some data from the corrupt drive the only thing left to do is reload the Operating System, get a router, then
lock down the computer.
How did my friend get hit by a thief?
Considering the way the hard drive was wiped (it was a sloppy job) I would say he downloaded a virus.
After sending his credit card data and some other personal data off the hard drive,
it then went to work deleting files named *.dll and *.doc.
How could this been prevented?
Yes! By using some tired and true techniques I have on the this web site.
Buy reputable programs for AV, anti trojan, malware, and spyware. Do not use the freebies that come with a new computer and need to be activated. Panda and Symantec are easily hacked or forgotten when the 30 day trial runs out.
up to date.
Next put a
router between you and your ISP (Cable/DSL/ADSL modem) and setup the firewall.
If you are a Windows user enable the
Windows Firewall if you don't have a server with a
software firewall between your computer(s) and the router. (If you are using a server for the firewall software you will also need a proxy server for the computers behind the firewall to gain access to the internet).
How does this help?
- When you have the hardware firewall (built in the software of the router) it can not be hacked by someone physically out side of the building it is in, to change settings on the router you have to have direct contact from inside the firewall.
- Where as a software firewall (such as the built in firewall of an OS) can changed by gaining access to the computer through the internet either by guessing a user ID and password or by a virus.
- With the hardware firewall the hacker can not gain access to the computers behind the firewall of the hardware. If the hacker is using
one to gain access to the computer behind a server software firewall with a proxy
it will be stopped from calling home and delivering all the data it has stolen.
Why does the proxy server stop it from calling home?
- Most viruses are not written to recognize that the computer browser and other programs on the computer are using a proxy address to get to the internet. The reason is it take to much time and makes the program lager, this makes it easier to detect. So the people (thieves) that write them
to only go after computers that don't use a proxy server.
- Not everyone can/will setup a
server and then install the proxy/firewall software because it can get expensive not only in the software but the hardware for the server, and it does get complicated the more protection you setup to defend your computer network.
Troubleshoot, repair, maintain, upgrade & secure...
The same I gave my friend that found out the hard way:
- Install a reputable AV programs.
- Use the built in firewall of the Operating System.
- Put a router between your computer(s) and the internet.
- Setup the firewall on the router.
Remember: It is your data and if you want to keep it yours, you have to protect it!
Fifty dollars and a half hour of his time would have saved my friend a lot of money and the time it will take to get his ID cleaned up. This is a Big Fail for my friend.
Too bad... :(
All this information and the steps to implement a secure network for your
data are in the
Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition
Viruses and hackers are bad news when it comes to your data and ID!