Internet security is an issue that has always been there and will continue to be there, as long as technology continues to evolve. Businesses must do their utmost to ensure that they are protected from the latest security threats, in order to ensure their information is not stolen. With that in mind, here are 6 internet plagues that all internet users should be aware of:
- Heartbleed Bug
This bug, which was discovered several years ago, was and is a serious vulnerability. It allows hackers to steal confidential information, information that would otherwise be protected under normal circumstances by the SSL/TLS encryption, which is used across the internet to secure information transfer.
The end result is that hackers are able to read the memory of systems which have been protected using this vulnerable SSL software, this further results in compromised secret keys (which are used for identifying the service providers and for encrypting data), usernames and passwords. Hackers are thus able to patch into communications, and steal information directly from these services.
- Online Sexual Predators
These online sexual predators will use chat rooms and social media websites in order to target the vulnerable and under aged. These predators will sometimes create a false identity, one that they can use to lure their victims into revealing their true information, so that they can later meet. There are several shows, such as ‘To Catch a Predator’ and many others which showcase the tactics used by these horrible people.
“Would you consider sending me some money, so that I can put it towards my legal battle with my ex-wife? If I’m able to win my case, I’m certain to be given in excess of several million in the settlement, and I will be sure to compensate you”.
As unbelievable as it sounds, there are thousands of people all over the world that fall victim to fraud on the internet, resulting in the loess of millions of dollars. These scams have several variations, but the end goal is always the same, to get the victim to send them money. Some emails will even ask for donations, siting a tragic event some place in the world, while others send you phishing emails, which send the victim to a fake bank website.
Internet fraud is only set to grow as the internet becomes more and more integral to our lives.
Don’t let the fact that Ransomware has been around for so long, make you put your guard down, this threat continues to grow in its usage, and it wasn’t a couple of years ago, when hackers were using legitimate ad services to distribute their malicious programs. There was even a period when some users reported being directed to malicious websites after clicking on ads from giant domains such as Facebook and Disney.
- Online Black Market Trading
The online black market is basically a market where illegal things are sold and traded. So what kind of thinks could possibly sold on these sites, television shows, pirated software? The reality is that, although pirated software does cause a financial burden for the entertainment and software industry, copyright infringement is still a manageable problem.
The online black market on the other hand, is much more nefarious in nature. You can purchase endangered animals, human sex workers and weapons on it. There was a BBC report in 2005 that claimed items such as tortoise shells, baby chimpanzees and rhino horns were being exchanged over these sites.
Even legitimate popular trading sites like Craigslist, create avenues for criminals to sell human sex workers on; though these legitimate sites do actively work towards such people and their behaviour(s).
- OpenSSL Flaws
The Heartbleed bug opened up a lot of minds to the new realities online; as a result, further research was conducted, which led to the discovery of additional vulnerabilities in the OpenSSL security software. According to some reports, the flaw was found in the encryption component, which is used in the creation of over 60% of websites as a means of prohibiting hackers from stealing confidential information from their sites.
The ramifications for this discovery revealed that such a vulnerability left most sites open to eavesdroppers, including NSA and other such important companies and their websites.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website http://www.compuchenna.co.uk