IT Security threats unwittingly invited in from malicious emails or web sites | Infrasupport Corporation
These are today’s most common technology based threats. Clicking that malicious email attachment that claims to come from a friend, accidently visiting a compromised website, connecting that USB memory stick or CD or DVD loaded with hidden malware are far and away the most common reasons today’s computers become mangled with malware.
Sometimes, the threats are not so obvious. A couple of examples:
- A few short years ago, Sony installed a hidden piece of software on its music CDs to spy on customer computer use. When people bought a Sony music CD and played it on their computers, the software would surrepticiously install itself and spy on the computer user, looking for trends in music tastes and web browsing history. Here is a link to an article about how the class action lawsuit was settled. Here is another one. A quick Google search for “Sony rootkit” shows more than 91,000 articles.
- Major media websites such as ESPN.com and others sometimes send malware back to unsuspecting users. These sites generate revenue from ads that come from third party sources. This means a visit to, say, www.espn.com to check the latest sports scores may also expose you to dozens of other websites, some of which may be unscrupulous. Details here and here.
What can you do about it? There is no perfect solution because knowingly or unwittingly, you invited the threat in. Firewalls will not block this threat, although an Infrasupport firewall system may provide some diagnostics to help identify it after the fact.
The best of today’s imperfect solutions include a good antivirus strategy, combined with outbound web filtering and email spam filtering.