How Viruses Get to your Computer
Hope-fully this is not the case for the majority of you, but I know
there will be a few people who are going to be infected. The only
way you are really going to know if you are infected is diagnosing
your computer properly.
Viruses are created for a variety of reasons, mainly dealing with personal gain. A person can potentially steal your bank account information, identity, files, sometimes they are just looking to be malicious.
Typical methods of infection:
Email: A popular method of infection is right through your email. Spam, phishing, “Happy birthday” emails, emails with attachments and links can contain malicious code.
Downloading illegal software/movies: Often times downloading illegal software or movies people will package a virus in the file(s).
Questionable sites: Adult sites, hacking sites, and other questionable sites with popups can contain malicious code. Sometimes simply trying to close those aggressive popups or even clicking an image on the site can deliver a virus to your computer.
Add-on software: Add-on software are programs that attach themselves to a program that you are trying to install. The program in itself may be legitimate, however often times, you will see additional programs, toolbars, etc. that want to install themselves when you install your main program. Sometimes these programs themselves can contain malicious code or even poor code leading to viruses.
USB: This is one of my preferred methods of infections when I do pen testing. Plugging in a random USB drive that you find laying around can easily contain a virus. Even though computers typically no longer allow auto run, there is a newer threat that will emulate a keyboard (BadUSB and USB Rubber Ducky for example) and execute commands given by the attacker.
Rogue Wi-Fi hotspots: Wireless hotspots are great for saving your data and potentially giving you a faster connection, unless of course you’re connecting to a rogue hotspot. Say you are at a coffee shop for example and you want to connect to their wireless. You look for the hotspots and see “Google Great Coffee” and “Google Great Coffee hotspot”, connecting to the wrong one likely means that you are connecting to someone’s rogue access point that they created hoping to get bank account information, login information, etc.
Be careful when connecting to open hotspots.
Only connect to those that you trust, if you are unsure if an access point is correct, then ask an employee. Also using a VPN can help keep yourself and your internet traffic safe and secure.