I have no doubt that you have heard once or more before that in April, you need to be careful, because the most malicious and strongest viruses are particularly active in this month. Or, you may have been one of the many unfortunate users to be invited from some site where you were offered a “Best Video,” but as soon as you clicked on it, you saw a series of unexpected messages containing hyperlinks repetitive flashing from a strange domain. Anyone who has ever experienced something like this will probably pay closer attention in such situations at least in that period of time. But unfortunately, April is not the only month during which you need to beware of malware. From January to December, viruses are continually spreading all over the world from one computer to another. So, this means your computer always has possibility of being infected, unless you simply do not turn it on or run it without connecting to the Internet.
“Latest Security Trends Media Day” seminar was held at Chosun Hotel, City Hall in Seoul on June 16. In the seminar, Cho Jun-yong, Technical Product Manager of Symantec revealed in his presentation that Symantec has identified more than 800 thousand viruses and pieces of malware from big online shopping, game, news, travel and even government sites.
“Underground Economy has grown dramatically in the last few years since they were being more organized and professional by purchasing and selling personal information such as bank account and credit card numbers. We found more than 1.6 million malware threats from all over the world in 2008 and that number is about 60 percent of the 2.6 million malwares that we have found so far,” Mr. Cho said. “Most users get damages because of lack of security. They usually think bigger sites such as search portals provide stronger security, but in fact, it is not true. Let's say that hacker succeed in installing some
malware into a famous portal. After that, as soon as you click on something to get the information you need, it transmits the unknown contents and viruses to your computer through new types of technology called drive-by-download or click-jacking. Then, all your personal information can be stolen and exploited. Then you can become part of a Botnet, a network of “Zombie” computers used to carry out automated tasks such as spamming without even realizing it.
New threats from conficker, a fast-spreading computer worm known as Downadup, is also known as one of the strongest viruses on the Web. A total number of confickers are dramatically increasing while they are growing and changing their shapes and characters differently. What make it worse is that, in the past, they used be nothing but bullies but they now have grown up to become criminals. The first generation of confickers didn't have specific targets, but now they set their sights mostly on banking sites and famous portals that have a tremendous number of users in their database. Their transmitting capability is now getting upgraded so that it is possible for them to transfer to other places through movable devices such as USB Memory and hard drives.
“One of the most important things for you to protect your computer from malware and viruses is to keep updating your operating system, applications and web browser regularly. It seems unimportant and unnecessary, but most of them break into your computer through these routes. Having this in mind, you should also keep updating your anti-virus software,” Mr. Cho said “Especially, I recommend you to use passwords with a mixture of characters and numbers and make up unique passwords for your banking and email. When you visit sites, give your attention to the installation of Active X, links, advertisements and information. If you are not sure about the messages in your email, you need to be certain of its contents by asking for assistance from an expert.”