What are the latest threats online?
We're committed to help you understand the latest online threats better, so that you can protect yourself and stay ahead of scammers.
- Identity theft
Identity theft is a crime in which a fraudster obtains key pieces of personal information, such as date of birth, bank details or driver's licence numbers, in order to impersonate someone else. The personal information discovered is then used illegally to apply for credit, purchase goods and services, or gain access to bank accounts, i.e. perform criminal activities from the name of the victim.
- Keystroke capturing/logging/Keylogger
Anything you type on a computer can be captured and stored. This can be done using a hardware device attached to your computer or by software running almost invisibly on the machine. Keystroke logging is often used by fraudsters to capture personal details including passwords. Some recent viruses are even capable of installing such software without the user's knowledge. The risk of encountering keystroke logging is greater on computers shared by a number of users, such as those in internet cafes. An up-to-date antivirus software program and firewall will help remove the harmful software before it can be used.
Short for 'malicious software', this is designed to infiltrate a computer system without your consent. The term covers a variety of intrusive software/programs, including viruses, worms, Trojan horses and spyware.
Banking Trojans in 2013
Zbot + Gameover
Phishing involves an e-mail message being sent out to as many internet e-mail addresses as the fraudster can obtain. Usually, these e-mails claim to come from a legitimate organisation such as a bank or online retailer. The e-mail requests the recipient to update or to verify their personal and financial information, including date of birth, login information, account details, credit card numbers, PINs etc. The e-mail will contain a link that takes you to a spoof website that looks identical (or very similar) to the organisation's genuine site. The fraudster can then capture personal data such as passwords. Clicking on a link may also download malware onto your computer, which will record your future use of the internet and forward even more information to the fraudster. The fraudsters will then use this information to compromise bank accounts, credit cards etc.
These are programs/files that may already reside on your computer and often arrive as hidden components of 'free' programs. Spyware monitors web usage and in its more extreme forms can include keystroke logging and virtual snooping on all your computer activity.
- Trojan horse/Trojan
Apparently legitimate software that carries an unwanted application like a virus or spyware – typically used by hackers to gain unauthorised access to computer systems.
A computer program designed to replicate by copying itself into other programs stored in a computer. It may be harmless but usually has a negative effect, such as slowing your computer down or corrupting its memory and files. Viruses are now mainly spread by e-mail and by file-sharing services, removable external devices like HDD, USB Flash memory, CD/DVDs.
- Virus hoax e-mail
Many e-mail warnings about viruses are hoaxes, designed purely to cause concern and disrupt businesses. Such warnings may be genuine, so don't take them lightly, but always check the story out by visiting an antivirus site such as McAfee, Sophos or Symantec before taking any action or forwarding them to friends and colleagues.
This is a malicious program that replicates itself until it fills all of the storage space on a computer drive or network. Worms may use up computer time, space and speed when replicating, with a malicious intent to slow or bring down entire web servers and disrupt internet use.