Monday, February 27, 2006

Better than Phishing!

According to the N.Y.Times, phishing is quite passé. There seems to be an easier and more invasive approach for fraud over the net which may affect any of us some day – the use of keylogging programs to exploit security flaws and monitor the path that carries data from the keyboard to other parts of the computer.
The scary part is that whereas phishing relies on deception by tricking people into giving their information to a fake Web site [and you know that YOU are smarter than that], keylogging is a lot more simple and more treacherous.
In fact, keylogging's simplicity may be why it is suddenly so popular among thieves. "Phishing takes a lot of time and effort," said David Thomas, the chief of the computer intrusion division at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "This type of software is a much more efficient way to get what they're after."
I am no expert but I would give Eugene Kaspersky quite a bit of credit in that area. My (so far quite efficient) anti-virus is Kaspersky after all.
The programming, too, is often trivial. "These can be developed by a 12-year-old hacker," said Eugene Kaspersky, a co-founder of Kaspersky Labs, an international computer security and antivirus company based in Moscow.
That risk is one that Mr. Kaspersky believes is in danger of getting out of hand.
"I'm afraid that if the number of criminals grows with this same speed, the antivirus companies will not be able to create adequate protection," said Mr. Kaspersky, who added that the time has come for increased investment in law enforcement and far better cross-border cooperation among investigators, who are overwhelmed by the global nature of cybercrime."There are more criminals on the Internet street than policemen," he said.

When Mr Anti-Virus himself says that the antivirus companies will not be able to create adequate protection, I begin to worry. So what to do? Just the usual stuff, it seems:

  • be wary of unfamiliar Web links sent via e-mail,
  • avoid questionable downloads and...
  • keep up to date with Windows patches and antivirus updates.
Then, after that, it's Good Night and ... Good Luck [sic]!

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