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virus malwareI am often asked why are computer viruses created and there is an easy answer Money.

In fact the creation of Viruses to affect any PC be they MAC ,Windows or Linux has never been easier as it is possible for anyone to purchase an exploit kit online.

An exploit kit is software placed on a malicous website which ,when the website is accessed by your browser, can cause your browser or pdf reader to download malicious software on to your PC or tablet. The software delivered onto your PC could be Ransomware (UKash is an example which locks your PC unitl some money is paid) or fake anti-virus software. These kits are readily availble for a price.

Blackhole Exploitation Kit

Is the most common and accounts for approximately 30% of all infections.

It uses many different techniques to affect your computers . Web hosts might inadvertently include the code on their sites for a small payment additionally spam email links and attachments are also used which may indicate problems with a bank account or claim to provide a scanned document.

Once you have opened a compromised page it goes about profiling your system to assess it for vulnerabilities and if it finds one it attempts to break that code.

It then can go about delivering the payload otherwise known as the virus. The blackhole kit use custom ecryption techniques which package the virus so as to avoid detection by your Anti-Virus software.

The most common vulnerable software is not the operating system itself nor your browser but Java , Flash and Adobe Reader which are common add-ins to web browsers.

While Flash and Adobe Reader are valuable browser add-ons Java is rarely used these days and it is highly recommnded that end users disable Java as an add-on within Internet Explorer, Firefox , Opera or Chrome.

 

Android – the Samsung SmartPhone O.S.

There is an increasing trend of malaware written specifically for mobile phones and this is a very serious threat as many banks uses SMS to mobile phones as a second tier security approach. Malaware for smartphones has been detected which if installed on your phone is designed to monitor SMS messages and forward them on to other phones or servers. The most common form of infection of phones is by the installation of fake versions of common apps eg Angry Birds.

 

 

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