Cyber Security

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President Obama has declared that the “cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation… America's economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cyber security.” So why is it that so many people still don’t know some of the basic ways that produce cyber threats? The purpose of this paper is to name some of the more basic cyber threats. Even though it is just the beginning to the hazards you can obtain, they are highly effective because of the number of people that still allow these kinds of breaches. First and foremost are viruses. According to cknow.com, “There were over 50,000 computer viruses in 2000 and that number was then and still is growing rapidly. Sophos, in a print ad in June 2005 claims "over 103,000 viruses." And, Symantec, in April 2008 is reported to have claimed the number is over one million.” With so many different viruses out there, how do you know what to look for and how to protect your cyber world from viruses? Some of the most common viruses that effect people are Trojans and Net Bots. PCmag.com defines a Trojan as “A program that appears legitimate, but performs some illicit activity when it is run. It may be used to locate password information or make the system more vulnerable to future entry or simply destroy programs or data on the hard disk. A Trojan is similar to a virus, except that it does not replicate itself. It stays in the computer doing its damage or allowing somebody from a remote site to take control of the computer. Trojans often sneak in attached to a free game or other utility.” To add to their definition, it can also be affixed to an email attachment or the email itself. So now that you know what it is you’re probably thinking so what can I do to protect myself from obtaining this virus? The best thing to do would be to educate yourself about this threat. Know what they look like and common websites they reside. The next thing that to do is to be sure to always have an up to date WELL KNOWN antivirus such as Sophos, McAfee, or Norton. The well known part is very important because some of the smaller antivirus companies are part of the reason there are so many Trojans out there. Once you get some antivirus software you need to be sure to keep it up to date. Also, don’t open emails from senders that you don’t recognize. Several of the Trojans out there that get circulated by email come from people opening emails from unknown senders. The next one is botnets. http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com says “A botnet (also known as a zombie army) is a number of Internet computers that, although their owners are unaware of it, have been set up to forward transmissions (including spam or viruses) to other computers on the Internet. Any such computer is referred to as a zombie - in effect, a computer "robot" or "bot" that serves the wishes of some master spam or virus originator. Most computers compromised in this way are home-based. According to a report from Russian-based Kaspersky Labs, botnets -- not spam, viruses, or worms -- currently pose the biggest threat to the Internet.” Trojans are the major way that you can get one of these viruses. So it is important that you again get antivirus software, keep it up to date, and don’t open emails from unknown senders. However, with this virus you can get it just from going to a questionable web site. So how do you know what ones are good and what ones are questionable? Well that you can for the most part guess using these deciding factors: Are there several java applications on the web page? Is there a lot of download able content? Are there pop up advertisements that come up on the page? Then you probably should do your best to stay away from the page. In case you are unsure, some antivirus software are now including a trusted and untrusted feature so when you search a site it will let you know if the page is safe or proceed at your own risk. If your antivirus does not have such a...
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