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Crimeware: What you should know about it?

by: Ailene B. Misa | 15 Apr, 2010 22:38:07

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Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned the computer users when using public computers.  The warning was given in connection to the crimeware that was said to be installed in most of the public computers. 

Crimeware?  Have you ever heard of this term?  At first, right after hearing you might conclude that this is crime software.  Well, maybe it is true. 

In this article I will be talking about crimeware.  What is and how it affects the computer users.  What are the implications once you are infected of this software?  Most importantly, you will find out how to protect your information via wireless connections.

To start the discussion, it would be better if we will define what crimeware is.  I got the definition from my favorite site-Wikipedia and it states: 

“Crimeware is a class of malware designed specifically to automate cybercrime.   It was designed to perpetrate identity theft in order to access a computer user's online accounts at financial services companies and online retailers for the purpose of taking funds from those accounts or completing unauthorized transactions that enrich the thief controlling the crimeware. Crimeware also often has the intent to export confidential or sensitive information from a network for financial exploitation. “

The term crimeware was given by Peter Cassidy, Secretary General of the Anti-Phishing Working Group.  At present, crimeware embodies an increasing dilemma in network security as several potential malicious codes steal off the record information.

Crimeware was said to be the latest method used by cybercriminals to steal confidential information like the following:

  • installing key loggers secretly on your computer to gather sensitive and confidential data like your username and password
  • redirect your browser  to another sites owned and controlled by cybercriminals
  • it can retrieve and slip confidential username and even password installed in your cache
  • it can access even the other computer terminals in your network through remote connection

The next thing that we will be discussing is something connected to the question “how can you acquire crimeware? “

There are different ways how we can be infected by this malicious software, listed below are some of the possibilities:

  • susceptible attack in web applications through your Internet browser
  •  intended assaults transmitted  through Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or SMTP
  • Open ports of P2P or peer to peer network automatically install crimeware

After hearing those ways where you can acquire malware, can you recall if you tried to browse web sites that contained confidential information in public are or using public computers or wireless connection? 

If yes, I highly recommend that you change your password already using a secure internet connection.  Remember cybercriminals can commit harm towards your account anytime.

Just come to think of this, recent statistical report says there were almost 200 million records that were stolen since 2003.  Most of us, we find it more comfortable and convenient to send our data unencrypted. 

With the widespread of crimeware, I think this is the best time that we should consider sending encrypted data to preserve its confidentiality.  At this moment, it is very difficult to identify whether or not our network is secured and protected from any security threats caused by malicious software. 

As we all get into Wi-Fi connection, the more we need to be cautious of the security of our computer most especially the confidentiality of the data we transact over the Internet.

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