The following article was prepared by Mike Taylor, C.P.M., for distribution to ISM affiliate newsletters
Computer Virus Threat - Zero Day exploits
We hear the term in the news all the time – but what does it mean and why do we care?
Here is one idea about how the computer protection industry works:
Here’s the problem:
At step 1 – only one dimwit hacker knows about the new virus. Thus the chances of him finding and infecting our PCs are slim. [probably more of a chance if you browse pornography or have dozens of online shopping accounts in Zekeestan– but that’s another story]
At step 2 – all of the hacker minions and wannabes learn about the virus and try to exploit it before you have a chance to protect yourself. Now thousands of idiots are trying to find you and your computer, and more are trying every day.
Experts call these things zero-day exploits. That is virus infections that happen during the period of time when a new virus is created before the good guys can deliver a cure.
Issues we need to understand:
What to do, what to do?
Why am I excited about this subject [again]? In the last 4 weeks - three friends have offered themselves up as examples.
Friend 1 had an up-to-date antivirus program, got infected anyhow, but was astute enough to recognize the virus, immediately shut down and request help disinfecting before it did any damage. Awesome - kudos and accolades
Friend 2 said I think my anti-virus program broke about 6 months ago – and I’m wondering if/how I should fix it. Wow!
Friend 3 said – my computer has been acting strangely for several weeks, now it always takes me to the same web site offering a fix for $126 – I think that’s too much money – I ordered an antivirus program a few months ago, but never got it installed correctly. [I think this hacker was happy to find my friend] \
OMG! It's a computer virus - who'd have guessed!
I've published articles and information on my web site and distributed them to my friends about safe computing and computer virus threats - but I'm small potatoes. I'm not the expert - just an interested friend. Start with any of the good computer security web sites and you'll quickly find more detailed information and better explanations. If you don't have any ideas - start here.
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