Never before with Instant Messaging (IM) has a more vital warning been needed for current and potential IM buddies who chat on line.
John Sakoda of IMlogic CTO and Vice President of Products stated that,
"IM viruses and worms are growing exponentially….Virus writers are now shifting focus of their attack to instant messaging, which is seen as a largely unprotected channel into enterprise."
Because Instant Messaging operates on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, it spawns an irresistible temptation for malicious computer hackers. P2P networks share files and operate on industry standard codec (encyrption codes) and industry standard protocols, which are publicly open and interpretable. Anti virus software does not incorporate protection for Instant Messaging services.
Like sharks in a feeding frenzy, these hacker mercenaries view Instant Messaging clients as their personal “Cash Cow” because of ease by which they can access your computer via publicly open and interpretable standards, unleash a Trojan horse, virus, or worm, as well as gather your personal and confidential information, and sell it to other depraved reprobates.
Please, don’t be naïve enough to think it won’t or couldn’t happen to you!
Want to see how easy it is for hackers to access your Instant Messaging chat and what can happen to you as a result?
Did you know that some hacker-friendly providers offer processor chips that can be bought on Internet? (I guess it would be pretty hard to walk into a store and ask clerk to help them find a processor chip that could be used to illegally hack into a victim’s computer for sole purpose of spreading malicious code or stealing someone’s identity!)
Did you know that hacker-friendly providers actually offer hacker software that enables these criminals to deliberately disable security on computers, access your personal and confidential information, as well as inject their Trojan horses, viruses, and worms?
Hacker manuals are also conveniently accessible via Internet. One of these manuals shows how to DoS other sites. DoSing (Disruption of Service) involves gaining unauthorized access to “command prompt” on your computer and using it to tie up your vital Internet services. When a hacker invades your system, they can then delete or create files and emails, modify security features, and plant viruses or time bombs onto your computer.
“Sniff” is a tool (originally intended to help telecommunication professionals detect and solve problems) that reprobate hackers use to tamper with protocol and “sniff out” data. When hackers sniff out your IM data packet from Internet traffic, they reconstruct it to intercept conversations. This enables them to eavesdrop on conversations, gather information, and sell it to other depraved criminal entities.
Don’t set yourself up to be next Identity Theft Victim because you like to chat using Instant Messaging.
Identity theft is one of most sinister of vulnerabilities you can inadvertently be subjected to. Identity theft is defined by Department of Justice as
“…the wrongful obtaining and using of someone else’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.” Identity theft is by-product of hacker mercenaries obtaining your social security number (including those of your spouse and children), your bank account, your credit card information, etc., from Internet. You become a virtual “Cash Cow” for hackers as your information is then sold to other felons for financial gain. Using your information, these criminals then:
·access your bank account funds ·create new bank accounts with your information ·create driver’s licenses ·create passports
Attorney General Ashcroft stated that,
"Identity theft carries a heavy price, both in damage to individuals whose identities are stolen and enormous cost to America's businesses.”
A group hosting a website known as shadowcrew.com was indicted on conspiracy charges for stealing credit card numbers and identity documents, then selling them online. While this group allegedly trafficked $1.7 million in stolen credit card numbers, they also caused losses in excess of $4 million.
According to a Press Release issued by Department of Justice on February 28, 2005, a hacker was convicted of several counts of fraud, one in which
“…he fraudulently possessed more than 15 computer usernames and passwords belonging to other persons for purpose of accessing their bank and financial services accounts, opening online bank accounts in names of those persons, and transferring funds to unauthorized accounts.”
Trojan Horses, Viruses, and Worms – The Toxic Trio
According to Dictionary.com, a Trojan horse is “…a subversive group that supports enemy and engages in espionage or sabotage---an enemy in your midst.” The toxic cargo of Trojan horses can include viruses or worms.