Mindset 'key' to hacking prevention

2012-04-02 14:05
Kaspersky Lab's Sergey Novikov has said the mindset of computer users is important to prevent hacker attacks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Kaspersky Lab's Sergey Novikov has said the mindset of computer users is important to prevent hacker attacks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Cape Town - The mindset of platform users is critical to their vulnerability to internet hacking and cybercrime, a security company has said.

"If we're talking about Linux users or Mac users, the problem lays in the psychology. All these guys are pretty sure that they are 100% protected and there is no malware," Sergey Novikov, head of Kaspersky Lab Global Research and Analysis Team told News24.

He conceded that the malware (malicious software) for those platforms was not comparable to those for Windows users, but added that common Mac malware could shatter the illusion of absolute security for Mac users.

"The most common malware for Mac is a DNS changer. The malware changes the URL to trying to access some [legitimate] site and it redirects you to a malicious site."

Kaspersky Lab recently recommended Google's Chrome browser as the safest one to use online, but added that no-one could guarantee 100% safety from attacks.

Botnets


The company would not be drawn on the safest operating system, but recommended the latest version of Windows for users of the popular Microsoft platform.

"What we recommend to all users is Windows 7 - it is the best Windows operating system as far as security is concerned," said Novikov.

While the focus of internet crime has shifted to corporate users in recent times, home were still vulnerable to virus and malware attacks, particularly with the aim of using a PC as part of a botnet to attack company servers and often blackmail the owners.

Botnets are networks of virus-infected computers controlled remotely by an attacker and can be used to steal money from online accounts and hijack identities, among other crimes.

In September 2011, the FBI arrested and charged six Estonian nationals with running a cybercrime ring that infected millions of computers and enabled the thieves to manipulate the online advertising industry.

The malware also makes the machines vulnerable to a host of other software and users are generally unaware that their computers were infected.

The FBI has formed "cyber squads" to combat cybercrime so stop criminals that operate from areas outside of US jurisdiction.

"For our part, the FBI has formed cyber squads in each of its 56 field offices, with more than 1 000 advanced cyber-trained FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, and forensic examiners," said Shawn Henry, FBI executive assistant director in October 2011.

Upgrade

Novikov said that in the past, one could easily detect if a computer was infected by a virus, but in modern attacks, it is in the hacker's interest to hide the malware on users' machines, often exploiting known vulnerabilities in the operating system (OS).

The Coreflood virus hides on Windows machines and enables hackers to steal banking information by recording every keystroke a user enters.

Kaspersky said that developing counties are particularly vulnerable to cybercrime because users do not readily upgrade their computers to the latest version of the operating system which allows hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in the older OS.

"Unfortunately in the emerging markets the percentage of Windows XP is still very high. On the African continent, more than 50% of all Windows computers are still running XP," Novikov said.


- Follow Duncan on Twitter
 
- News24
Read more on:    kaspersky lab  |  fbi  |  cybercrime
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The quest for understanding has reached a new intense emotional level. The more tempestuous your emotions are, the bigger the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.