PC Performance Threats

 

Computer Virus Anxiety

Millions of Internet Threats Daily
4 Different Types of Hackers
Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open
Evidence of Infection
Zero-Day Attack
Attacks an Unknown Vulnerability
The Disgruntled Employee is the Greatest Threat
Reasons Hackers Create Malware
Hacking is a Criminal Offense
No Computer System is 100% Secure
Know Your Enemy


You may ask what are the different types of computer viruses or what is meant by the word “malware?” Well, there are too many types to mention or name for that fact, but they’re all man-made and geared to damage or disable computers. The terms malware and virus are basically used synonymously in the nefarious software domain.

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Millions of Internet Threats Daily

I kid you not, there are millions of pc performance threats put on the Internet every single day. Some directed at specific targets, such as large financial institutions and others available for pickup or should I say download by unsuspecting surfers. It’s unbelievable, right? Don’t believe me click on this link, “How many viruses are created daily?”

Incredible right! No doubt, you should be running an anti-virus program on your computer right now and if you do it’s kicking butt and taking names.


4 Different Types of Hackers

White Hats: These are people who have no intent on compromising your security. Some of them are security experts hired to breach / test software, personal computers, and company networks for vulnerabilities.  These are the good guys.

Script Kiddies: There are usually young people or amateurs who are wannabe big time. They use pre-written scripts (viruses) created by black hats to break into vulnerable computers; however, they usually  have no idea of the concept behind the scripts they edit. This lack of knowledge makes them more dangerous.

Grey Hats: This person searches the Internet for vulnerable systems to attack. But unlike black hats they will notify the system’s administrator of his intrusion after the fact; in addition, offer to fix the vulnerability for a fee.

Black Hats: These people are absolutely out to compromise the security of your system. They use resources, such as a network, computers, and phone systems without authorization. Crimes consist of piracy, credit card fraud, vandalism, identity theft, and ransom ware.


Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open

It’s a good idea to check up on the latest virus attacks via the Internet just to be abreast of things. Check out Norton’s most active threats site. Believe me Network Security Administrators are hired to protect their organization’s infrastructure and it’s a 24 hour job.  Thus be aware of the dangers that lurk while you surf, bank, purchase goods, and download. Be familiar with your computer’s normal behavior in order to identify characteristics of a virus infiltration.


 Evidence of Infection

Another very important point is that pc performance threats are geared to either corrupt data, browser takeover, drain CPU resources, prevent executable files from opening, system memory, or hold your computer hostage for payment. Be adamant keeping your virus software up to date protecting against new viruses.


 Zero-Day Attack

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Remember I just said to update your anti-virus on a regular basis in order to thwart off malware, well, there’s one attack no one can defend against. This is known yet an unknown type of attack. There’s no prior warning of it’s attack and NOT readily available in the Information Technology community or Newsletters. Let me explain. It breach’s the security protocols of a program, operating system, network, or application. It’s also known as day-zero, zero-hour, or zero-day. By either name it still serves the same purpose and that is destruction; destruction; however, I choose to call it “day-zero.”


Attacks an Unknown Vulnerability

A zero-day attack is a security vulnerability which is a flaw or hole that the developer didn’t have time to address and secure it with a patch. If a hacker finds this out or already knows of its existence they consider it an open invitation to disrupt functionality and infect the host computer with spyware or malware.

In order to protect the users of this software the developer must race to create a patch or lose investors and customers. This is something Microsoft is known for throughout its Windows releases.


The Disgruntled Employee is the Greatest Threat

Today’s attacks on online companies are subject to data leakage, sabotage, and hacking which are basically performed by disgruntled employees. A disgruntled employee is the greatest threat and buy product of the business world. Companies need people to perform the work and there’s no circumvention for that.

Employees are privy to inside information and therefore become serious threats. If you were to compare which threat causes the most damage financially to a company it would be an inside threat. 

A disgruntled employee is apt to insert a virus, create a backdoor in the system, sell technical or financial data to competitors, divulge confidential data or security vulnerability; in addition, commit sabotage for profit, or revenge.  These are unavoidable and unpredictable truths of the nature of conducting business.

 There are many reasons why employees commit crimes, you see, an employee might feel they’ve not received due credit for their contribution(s) and quit, or they’re fired; possibly unfairly. So, I hope I’ve provide adequate insight into why disgruntled employees are major factors of hackings. I’d like to add securing a company’s integrity is no small feat for IT professionals. It is a colossal challenge placed on them to monitor and secure a company infrastructure.  




Reasons Hackers Create Malware:

  1. Held hostage to gain a profit
  2. Politically motivated
  3. Amusement
  4. Prove a software is fallible
  5. Boredom
  6. Steal sensitive information
  7. Use your computer for a specific task

Hacking is a Criminal Offense

People who create viruses know how to communicate with the computer by learning its languages which are C, C++, Java, Perl, and Python and insert nefarious instructions. It isn’t a crime to create a computer virus, Trojan, or even various malware, but what is the crime is if for any reason intentional or not it’s delivered and compromises other computers. Then that act is considered a crime and punishable by law because you’re liable for damages done to any computer infected with your virus. As of late law enforcement have gotten quite astute tracing the source. But the war rages onward.

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No Computer System is 100% Secure

Unfortunately, despite all we do our privacy can be compromised and therefore never 100% protected. That’s why it’s imperative to become computer savvy or the official term “computer literate.”

File Virus

Either replaces or attaches itself to a file that has a .COM or .EXE extension (executable file).This can prevent an application from opening or once opened you’ll find the original file has been replaced with malicious code. File viruses have targeted DOS (Disk Operating System) and Macintosh among others.

Macros

Laches to word processors, such as a Microsoft Word or Excel spread sheets. Once the application opens (virus included) it loads into memory. It will release a chain of events spewing out malicious code infecting other documents including future documents.

Trojan Horse Program

It appears as a legitimate program to an anti-virus program. When it’s executed the virus will display a message of picture on the monitor. A Trojan Horse can be used to retrieve passwords and user-ids to be used later to hack the computer.

Worm Virus

This virus duplicates (makes a copy) itself from one drive to another. It uses a network to replicate itself via email. It’s different from a virus because it doesn’t need to attach itself to a file.

Stealth Virus

This type of virus is written to conceal itself from anti-virus detection. It will assume a fake image and escape exposure.

Polymorphic Virus

A virus which is difficult to eradicate due to it’s design to constantly change itself and its encryption to evade security programs; ergo the suffix morphic.

Flash BIOS Virus

This infection destroys the flash BIOS by rewriting its code causing the computer not to boot.

Logic Bomb

A malicious code inserted in software which remains dormant until it’s triggered by certain conditions. It will corrupt for instance your Facebook account once logged in, delete computer files, or reformat the hard drive.

The names of computer viruses are not readily known to anyone because there’s just too many. Only the ones that cause the most damage, such as financial loss, client / customer information compromised, or downtime will ever be publicized.


Know Your Enemy

It would definitely improve the chances of your computer’s survival to know not just the name, but the virus’s type and symptoms then strategize to disinfect and remove. My computer has been infected quite a few times. I researched and identified the virus, it’s symptoms, what components it affects, and chose a strategy to get rid of it.

Anti-virus programs are software created to protect your computer from the Internet horrors. If detected the anti-virus program should alert you to either remove, quarantine, or ignore. Choose wisely.

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Author: Wanda

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10 thoughts on “PC Performance Threats

  1. Luis

    Hi Wanda, pretty down to earth information. I already have my A+ certification, now working on the Security+. Sometimes I need a simple explanation on terms. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Wanda

      Been there done that, Luis. Congrats on the A+. That one is a compound because it tests you on the software & hardware, so it’s 2 tests in one. At least that’s the way I felt about it. Lol! I found Security+ was a lot easier. Let me know if I can be of any help. Good luck!

      Reply
  2. Joshua

    Hello colleague, I say colleague because I’m in the same field and have obtain certifications also as it seems you have. I must say you really break things down into laymen terms. I know people will have a better understanding of pc’s once they read you articles.

    Reply
    1. Wanda

      Thank you Joshua, yes, I have obtained certs and glad you took time to read some of my articles and found them relative.

      Cheers!

      Wanda

      Reply
    1. Wanda

      Oh, you’re very welcome, Katherine. There are others I named the most common.

      Cheers!

      Wanda

      Reply
    1. Wanda

      Thanks Harris, I’ve put a lot of work to make it pleasing to the eye and all so informative.

      Cheers!
      Wanda

      Reply
  3. Benny

    First off I want to say great blog! There so many threats on the internet today it’s ridiculous to think a computer won’t get caught. All we can do is do our best to keep you systems clean and you site helps the not so computer literate.

    Reply
    1. Wanda

      Thanks for the compliment, Benny. You’re so right. No systems is safe as long as it’s connected to the Internet. We as you said must do the best we can.

      Cheers!

      Wanda

      Reply

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