Thursday, June 16

Browser-based attacks increase as viruses dip

Rather than attempt to trick computers, malicious hackers are now preying on computer users more than ever before. Computers equipped with virus detection software are usually able to intercept harmful code and nullify it before it has a chance to corrupt the computer itself. However, computer users do not have as watchful and objective an eye on their computers (many because they just aren't fully aware of what to look for) as software is capable of using. Hackers try pretend that they are agents of reputable companies by emulating their online presence, attempting to lure unsuspecting consumers with official-looking email (phishing) and genuine-seeming websites (pharming).

These sorts of attacks are much more personal in nature. While viruses could possibly delete all information for a hard drive, that sort of attack is benign next too a phishing scam that could possibly receive credit card numbers, social security information, and other identifying information.

The moral of the story is: look out! Don't visit sensitive sites via email... if you're genuinely worried that a notice is genuine, contact the company yourself rather than follow possibly fraudulent hyperlinks.

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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.