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Dangerous Computer Problems

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Hackers appear everywhere. It is a crime and when it happens it ought to be reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (information can be found at the website listed below). A hacker is a criminal who works at gaining access on personal computers to find and use private information on the computer user. Hackers often find weak spots in security systems in order to gain that access needed to get into the computer. In many cases, they install Trojan horses, programs meant to mislead the user of its true intention. Defend yourself against these hackers by keeping your software on laptops, PCs, phones, and other devices up-to-date. Use common sense and don’t open suspicious emails that could contain hackers. Make sure that passwords are strong; change them as often as possible. Also, install a firewall that can help inform you of incoming hackers. For more information look at the website www.ag.state.mn.us/consumer/publications/HowtoProtectYourselfAgainstHackers.asp.

Another dangerous computer problem is viruses. Viruses are what infect the initial computer and work at attacking others’ in the contact lists. Viruses are often found in the form of an email attachment or a download. When opened they attach themselves to hard drives and find their ways to be sent via email. Viruses can bring about unwanted ads, give away personal information, hijack web browsers, and send countless spam to those in contact lists. Results from viruses include constant computer crashes and programs running without the users approval. Protection against viruses can include simply reading the full user agreement that could suggest other suspicious downloads. Be alert to opening only trusted sources. www.umass.edu/it/support/security/protect-against-viruses-security-threats is a website that can help you discover ways to protect yourself.

Adware is the software displaying advertisements usually through pop-up windows. Similar to the previous ones, adware typically comes in through downloading of apps, media, or others. A website giving more information on adware is www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/us/security/definition/adware. More often adware is not inherently malicious, it’s considered grayware, software or a code that falls into the grey area between normal software and a virus. Adware can spy on your browser activity, stealing personal information, and selling it to people. A simple solution to defend against adware is by blocking popups. Spyware acts as a spy. It finds out personal information, records it and gives it away. It is often a result, again, from downloads sometimes with your authorization and other times are downloaded automatically. Spyware causes unwanted sites to pop up, it finds out your internet surfing habits, and what apps have been downloaded. Always be aware of the website and source the download is coming. www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/cnt/rsks/cmmn-thrts-en.aspx#s02 will give further information about spyware and the ways to protect from the dangers of spyware.

Vicious spyware, viruses, hackers, and more happen on even governmental computers and large companies. A recent attack that has left many puzzled by the large complication is known as Trisis, an outbreak on industrial control systems (ICS). The disaster happened in Saudi Arabia at an oil and gas facility. This complicated code forced the equipment to shut down, which was later to be revealed as an emergency protection reaction. After the equipment shut down, the company had to put a halt on its operations resulting in major financial loss. Even to this day much information is closed to the public and even more is left unsolved including the creator of the code. Reporters have stated that this virus is a brand new cyperweapon created for mass destruction. This is only the fifth malware to aim at ICS; previous ones included CrashOverride and the more famous one, Stuxnet. Trisis has the ability to malfunction the SIS , a controller managing equipment in an oil or gas facilities, paper mills, or nuclear power points. If Trisis has the ability to control the SIS controls some shocking effects could result in physical destruction or even life loss. After much investigation, a file was located called trilog.exe delivered from the technology supplier, Schneider Electric.

Further examination found that the legitimate looking file was created by someone outside the company with devastating malware attached. Knowledge is known of how the file found its way into this company, but FireEye will not release that information. The code is far more complicated and sources say that it could potentially take a year to finally fully diagnose. It is clear that attribution is lagging beyond where it ought to be. This continues to be a mystery unsolvable and stumping many people invested in cracking this case. For more detailed information please check out these websites www.fireeye.com/blog/threat-research/2017/12/attackers-deploy-new-ics-attack-framework-triton.html and www.cyberscoop.com/trisis-ics-malware-saudi-arabia/.

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