Monday, March 20, 2006

Cyberthieves

Back on January 30th, I posted a bit about a dubious company calling itself "SBA Express". Among other things, the post warned against "phishing," a common method of conducting fraud by e-mail scammers.

However, a recent article in the New York Times talks about a new form of cybertheft. Here's an excerpt:

"In some countries, like Brazil, [phishing] has been eclipsed by an even more virulent form of electronic con - the use of keylogging programs that silently copy the keystrokes of computer users and send that information to the crooks. These programs are often hidden inside other software and then infect the machine, putting them in the category of malicious programs known as Trojan horses . . .

These criminals aim to infect the inner workings of computers in much the same way that mischief-making virus writers do. The twist here is that the keylogging programs exploit security flaws and monitor the path that carries data from the keyboard to other parts of the computer. This is a more invasive approach than phishing, which relies on deception rather than infection, tricking people into giving their information to a fake Web site."

This is yet another reason to remind clients - as well as those on your campuses who administer your computer system - to update constantly the antivirus software for your machine. While it's not a cure-all for this & other cyberattacks, it's better than doing nothing.

To read the rest of the article, go here. NOTE: You'll need to register with the Times' Web site (if you haven't already). It's free and painless.

ALSO - A representative of the Anti-Phishing Working Group is quoted in the article. Their Web site can be found here.

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