Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Intruders in your cyberworld

Hi, welcome to the ComputerPRO blog. I am Dennis Kilcrease, owner of Computer PRO. The purpose of this blog is to share information, and to answer questions.
We are seeing a huge influx of intrusions at Computer PRO these days. When I say intrusions, I mean viruses, Trojans, Malware, Spyware, worms and other varmits that attack your computer. You have got to be really savy these days to avoid what is an inconvieniance at best, and a major problem and big expense at worse.
The ComputerPRO staff just attended a conference on Micro Forensics, where we got to work with FBI agents, staff from Homeland Security, and attorneys from the Justice Department. We learned about the bottom-dwellers that try to worm (literally) their way into the lives of innocent citizens, mainly for the reason of stealing identities. They are a varied bunch, many from northern Europe, where extradition for prosecution in the US is complicated, and some are long-haired hermits with Cheeto bags laying around holed up in their houses here in the US. Once they infect your computer, they can gain access to your world--your information, your finances, and your IP address. There are literally websites where these creeps go to buy and sell identities--almost like a drug pusher selling from his car.
I have a strong background in security, working as the Chief Network Engineer for Army Space Command, and on the SPPRnet project for the Pentagon email, among work with other international companies such as General Dynamics and SI International. I have seen first hand what these intrusions can do to a major network, as well as a home computer.
People often assume that all they need to do is to put half-way decent anti-virus protection on their computers and they are bullet-proof. While having anti-virus is essential, it is also crucial to educate yourself in safe practice so that you don't manually load a virus. Any computer that is fully covered with anti-virus is still susceptable to viruses if the operator uses unsafe practices.
Over the next days, I will talking more about out-smarting the bad guys and reducing the liklihood of becoming infected. I also will be talking about basic care and feeding of computers, and some hints on Vista, Windows 7, and organizing files on the computer. Thanks for reading today.

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