Phishing, Fraudulent and Malicious Websites

Written by Alexandra Gamanenko

Continued from page 1

As soon as these details have been entered, an error page appears; it tellsrepparttar user thatrepparttar 140624 transaction has been unsuccessful, and offers instructions on how to pay forrepparttar 140625 ticket by postal money order. Sorepparttar 140626 user may well be fooled twice. He loses his credit card details, putting them right intorepparttar 140627 hands of cyber-crooks, and then loses money, if decides to buyrepparttar 140628 ticket by money order.

Of course, these sites have already been disabled, but who knows whether (or better to say when) other ones will appear again, this time offering all kinds of products.

Malicious websites are especially dangerous. Cybercriminals create them exclusively to execute malicious code onrepparttar 140629 visitors' computers. Sometimes hackers infect legitimate sites with malicious code.

Bad news for blog readers: blogs can be contaminated, too. Since January, Websense Security Labs has discovered hundreds of these "toxic" blogs set by hackers.

When unsuspecting users visit malicious sites, various nasty applications are downloaded and executed on their computers. Unfortunately, more and more often these applications contain keyloggers--software programs for intercepting data.

Keyloggers, as it is clear fromrepparttar 140630 name ofrepparttar 140631 program, log keystrokes --but that's not all. They capture everythingrepparttar 140632 user is doing -- keystrokes, mouse clicks, files opened and closed, sites visited. A little more sophisticated programs of this kind also capture text from windows and make screenshots (record everything displayed onrepparttar 140633 screen) - sorepparttar 140634 information is captured even ifrepparttar 140635 user doesn't type anything, just opensrepparttar 140636 viewsrepparttar 140637 file.

In February and March 2005, Websense Security Labs researched and identified about 8-10 new keylogger variants and more than 100 malicious websites which are hosting these keyloggers EACH WEEK. From November of 2004 through December 2004 these figures were much smaller: 1-2 new keylogger variants and 10-15 new malicious websites per week. There is by all means a disturbing tendency--the number of brand-new keyloggers and malicious website is growing, and growing rapidly.

What a user can do to avoid these sites?

As for phishing,repparttar 140638 best advice is not to click any links in any email, especially if it claims to be from a bank.

Opening an attachment of a spam message can also triggerrepparttar 140639 execution of malicious program, for example a keylogger or a keylogger-containing Trojan horse.

As for fraudulent websites, maybe buying goods only from trusted vendors will help -- even if it is a bit more expensive.

As for malicious websites... "Malicious websites that host adult entertainment and shopping content can exploit Internet Explorer vulnerabilities to run code remotely without user interaction."(a quote from Websense's report). What can a user do about it? Not much, but avoiding adult sites and buying only from known and trusted online stores will reducerepparttar 140640 risk.

Hackers also attract traffic to malicious websites by sending a link through spam or spim (the analog of spam for instant messaging (IM). So a good advice never follow links in spam is worth remembering once more.

Alexandra Gamanenko currently works at Raytown Corporation, LLC -- an independent software developing company that provides various solutions for information security.

Learn more -- visit the company's website

Identity Theft - 10 Simple Ways to Protect Your Good Name!

Written by Titus Hoskins

Continued from page 1

4. Don't store your vital information (credit card numbers, family information, passwords, etc.) on your personal computer, instead store it on CDs or floppy disks or on a computer that is not connected torepparttar Internet.

5. If you use passwords, make sure they are hard-to-guess passwords. You should have passwords that are at least eight characters long - consisting of a mixture of numbers, upper case and lower case letters. Many security experts suggest changing your passwords regularly.

6. Never open emails from people you don't know. Especially, don't open any attachments until they are properly scanned for viruses and spyware.

7. Be aware of phishing - this is where you get an official looking (though fake) email from companies that you may be doing business with - never use a link in these emails to provide personal information. Always open a new browser window and type in your 'own' links you have for these companies or sites. Most secure connections will start with "https://"

8. Regularly check your operating system and download any updates that may contain security patches and fixes for your PC.

9. Use an encryption service if you can. This will also help in protecting your vital data from prying eyes.

10. Always shut down your computer when its not in use - especially if you have a cable Internet connection. And make sure you know who is using your computer. Keep track of family members or friends who have access to your computer.

No doubt there are many more ways to protect yourself against Identity Theft but following and implementingrepparttar 139529 above steps will give you added protection and peace of mind. Inrepparttar 139530 same light, don't let your guard down -- always be aware of your surfing habits andrepparttar 139531 information or programs on your computer. Keep a close eye on your PC; any slow down or unorthodox operations should be checked out immediately. Scan your machine regularly, and check out any unauthorized attempts to access your computer. Keep your machine clean.

Believe it or not, a little common sense will go a long way in stopping Identity Theft and keeping your good name safe!

To learn more about Spyware and Adware Click Here:Spyware Removal Guide

Copyright 2005 Titus Hoskins of

This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

    <Back to Page 1 © 2005
Terms of Use