New Reports Reveal New Malware Trends

In the not so distant past malware was confined to sketchy sites like porn sites, gambling sites and file sharing sites. Many people still have the mistaken impression that malware can only be found on these websites. A report released by internet security firm Websense released a disturbing report that said most computer users are ‘only two clicks away’ from malware. According to the report the greatest threats are coming from popular news sites, message boards and social networking sites. Mary Landesman, Senior Security Researcher with internet security firm Cisco said “Web malware encounters occur everywhere people visit on the Internet—including the most legitimate of websites that they visit frequently, even for business purposes. Indeed, business and industry sites are one of the top three categories visited when a malware encounter occurred.”

According to the 2013 Cisco Annual Security Report said that a majority of malware encounters occur while browsing mainstream websites. Sites targeted by malware distributors include employment websites, disaster relief centers, hotel Internet connection sites, and government websites. Today’s cybercriminals are well educated and tech savvy. They constantly research browsing habits and exploit website with a high volume of traffic.

What is malware and what damage can it do? Malware is short for malicious software designed to disrupt computers and gain access to sensitive personal and financial information. Malware includes viruses, rootkits, Trojans, keyloggers, dialers, spyware, adware, ransomware and rogue security software. Some malware is disguised as legitimate software. Malware can be presented as a desirable program which has malware imbedded in the program. Some malware programs are designed to steal banking information including account numbers and passwords. In many cases victims are unaware they have been infected until their online accounts have been drained.

Malware can seriously damage a computer. Some malware programs will show computer speeds to a crawl making it useless for everyday use. Other programs will freeze a computer and lock the user out of their own computers. Repairs are expensive and some malware cannot be fixed. At internet bingo sites operators go to great lengths to prevent malware attacks. Since bingo is a low stakes game the amounts of money involved make bingo sites an unlikely target for hackers. Players can protect themselves by installing reliable security programs. Many of these programs are free and are easily downloaded.