Internet security myths busted

  • Published
  • By Cyber Threat Bulletin
  • Air Force Space Command
The following information was taken from the Air Force Space Command's Cyber Threat Bulletin.

MYTH: Greasy-haired, maladjusted kiddy-scripters are vandalizing your computer.
BUSTED: "Kids" are no longer the culprits of today's hacks. Hackers no longer yearn for 15 minutes of fame; organized criminals growing more sophisticated daily are after your money.

MYTH: All you need is anti-virus.
BUSTED: While anti-virus is a necessity and protects your computer from a lot of Internet filth, cyber criminals are constantly challenging anti-virus companies and developing new malware. Therefore you need anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-rootkit and a firewall to ensure layered defense.

MYTH: Just be careful which sites you visit and it'll be okay.
BUSTED: Legitimate sites, by way of vulnerabilities within their security software, are infected with malware daily. Just last week, the New York Times Web site was infected with a malicious banner, which prompted the download of fake anti-virus software. According to the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group and Microsoft, 85 percent to 97 percent of e-mail traffic is unwanted spam, which can potentially infect your computer.

MYTH: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
BUSTED: There are hidden malicious processes, threats, files and registry keys that need advanced technology to remove them. You might not see that your computer is infected. Earlier this month, nearly $500,000 was taken from a U.S. company. It was not caught by company executives, the bank or security technicians.

MYTH: The Internet is too dangerous, don't bother and stay offline.
BUSTED: Similar to never venturing out of your house for fear of getting sick is the fear that Internet access might cause infection. Don't let the dangers of the Internet stop you from using it. Just do ensure that your computer and personally identifiable information is protected. Erik Larkin from PC World believes that the Internet is an invaluable asset if you understand the risks involved and are postured defensively against them.