A report in all major news outlets this morning give yet another warning to all. According to 680news.com, “Canada’s electronic eavesdropping agency reportedly tracked the wireless devices of thousands of travellers by using information gleaned from free internet service at a major Canadian airport. The CBC is reporting the revelation is contained in a top secret document retrieved by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden.”
We turn on electronic devices, log in to the closest WiFi, and begin to work or play on the Internet, but there are those who take advantage of our week knowledge of what Internet security really is and what it is not.
Horror stories, myths, and tall tales swarm conversations in social networks and in local cafes of Internet extremes like the online apocalypse and how a firewall can keep everything safe. Not!
An Internet firewall will not make up for using “password” as one’s password, spending a paycheck on Facebook app tokens, or entering highly private and sensitive information on any website that does not have a “s” after the “http.” Even that “s” may not be enough to assure online safety though. How many times has anyone noticed their friends’ social network accounts tragically hacked? Usually, this happens when they click on wall, feed or even private message URL that takes them to enter their Facebook ID and password in order to find out how to lose weight, get girls, become a genius, or get 1000 friends immediately … things that are too good to be true. But now, the hackers can login to the compromised friends’ social network accounts and do all kinds of things.
Internet security is also not just buying and installing security software. Users need to make sure to update the software and run a scan daily or leave the device on practically 24/7 and enable automatic updates and scanning for malicious threats. In fact, antivirus software is not all that people need to have Internet security. Not true. Firewall protection can provide a second layer of security, but even with that and Internet security software installed, regularly updated and used for scanning and removing malicious threats, bad things can still happen.
Get an Apple or Linux device or just use a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet and never sweat again online, right? Plus, fitness trackers and Mp3 players do not need Internet security. Each statement is incorrect. These devices are not immune to malicious attacks or becoming a zombie in a botnet. They do not naturally provide Internet security. For example, from June 2012 — when Tibetan activists who used Uyghur Mac OS X machines were the targets of online threats — through February 2013 and ongoing, the number of attacks have increased towards Apple devices.
In late 2013, Linux.Darlloz was a new worm created with a sweet spot for x86 computers that ran Linux and PHP but also on embedded devices such as mp3 players, fitness trackers, traffic lights and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). The embedded devices are very difficult to patch and update with security patches, and hackers know this. Linux is a free and open source operating system. Open source has a reputation for being safer and more secure than proprietary platforms, but not necessarily. Free does not mean totally safe from online harm.
The author of this article can remember the excitement that middle school students felt about using fun freeware in English language and social studies curriculum as early as 1997 on old MAC SE machines. One 3 1/2 inch disk loaded with trivia games, grammar practice, letter writing prompts, and more held a hidden virus that messed up startup files. The virus struck on a Friday the 13th.
Last, one’s work and play online is not secure just because there are no malware intrusion warnings messages popping up. Plenty of viruses and other compromising tools are silent and may not even slow down or crash a system. Hacking and zombie recruiting can be just a lithe and light as the newest tablets and smart phones. These silent small application may be using your device as a host for DDoS and Zombie attacks on different websites and making them look for DDoS Protection and Mitigation Services from Internet Security Providers like BlockDos.
As always, BlockDos team aims to keep its customers, partners, and the world of online devices safe from malicious activity. Part of that is staying up-to-date on the latest information and news on Internet security. We are not in Kansas anymore.