Leading computer security experts Symantec has just published its 15th Internet Security Threat Report, which examines the current state of online risks to consumers and businesses alike. Here we summarize the key findings and discuss four myths associated with cybercrime.
In Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report, the software giant found attackers are now leveraging the wealth of personal information openly shared on social networking sites, like Facebook, to engineer smarter attacks on both individuals and companies.
Symantec says there were more than 3.2 billion cyber attacks in 2009 alone — equal to one attack for every two people in the world. The computer security company says they blocked an average of about 100 potential attacks every second.
And so Symantec and Sync are here to present four of the most popular myths about online threats and cybercrime:
Myth 1: While you may think that hackers are super-smart, nerdy computer scientists who live in their parents’ basement, these days ANYONE can be a hacker. Easy-to-get and inexpensive “Hacker Kits” are on the rise letting any computer user get into the lucrative world of cybercrime.
Myth 2: “I’ll know if my computer has a virus – It will be obvious! There will be pop-up windows, things will look weird and it will be really slow.” – The reality is that hackers don’t want you to know you’ve been infected – a good parasite never kills its host. Your computer could be under the control of a cybercriminal half a world away and you might never know.
Myth 3: “Spam is a nuisance at worst” – In fact, Spam accounts for more than 88% of all e-mail traffic and can be used to deliver infections to your computer and steal your personal information.
Myth 4: “Cybercriminals are looking to clean out big businesses and rich people” – Nope – once they get your account information, cybercriminals may take out or charge small amounts over time so that you’re less likely to notice, but they do it in bulk so they still reap big profits.
On a related note, check out this funny video, titled “Heist,” on how cybercriminals work: