Who and Why do they Intrude?

White Hat/Black Hat

Why would anyone want to break into my home computer? There’s nothing valuable on it. Just a bunch of family pictures, some games for the kids and my greeting card list. I suppose they might want to look at my checkbook register but it normally floats close to nothing. What’s the big deal?

I’ll give you three good reasons:

  • Your new Computer is Fast
  • Your DSL or Cable modem Connection is Fast
  • Your Home Computer is an Easy target.

A typical Home Computer represents a Fast and Easy target for an intruder. Sounds like the punch-line to a sleazy joke doesn’t it? Sorry to say, its no joke. The Black Hats are treating us like sleaze. Worse, most of us don’t know that we’re being used (see Home Computers A Tempting Target).

So how easy are we? According to Amit Yoran of computer security firm Riptech (recently purchased by symantec),

“If you’ve got a system out on the Net and it’s not patched, there’s a very high degree of likelihood that literally in a matter of hours you’ll be popped.”

Who are the Black Hats? This TechNewsWorld article entitled, Profile of a Virus Writer: Pride to Profit, explains how the geeky vandal of yesterday is transforming into an organized, profit-driven criminal.

There’s a saying, “Ignorance is Bliss”. Not knowing something is often more comfortable than knowing it. The more I learn about computer security, the more I contemplate that phrase. As you learn more, you may find yourself wondering the same thing.


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