Many people are painfully aware of some of the risks involved in surfing the Internet. If they are not properly protected, or sometimes out of just pure coincidence, they can become victims of cybercrime, which can range from stealing a person’s identity, to getting access to their bank account information or other sites where the criminal can hope to steal valuable information, if not outright money. It is a problem that has increased over the last two decades, as international criminals become more sophisticated, using increasingly complex programs or techniques to attack anyone that they can get their hands on. Now, one of the major companies that has been around since the Internet began has joined forces with international police in an attempt to put a stop to this practice.
Private and Public Organisations Working Together
Recently, Microsoft, one of the most recognised names in the computer world, has joined forces with the FBI, Interpol and other security experts in an attempt to take down one recent attack. The attack itself is fairly sophisticated. It basically works by using a botnet to infect millions of computers worldwide. The botnet, or network of infected computers, has hidden within them a program called ZeroAccess to steal all sorts of information. Not only is it a virus meant to steal sensitive personal information, but also make money by collecting revenue from bogus clicks on any ads that are placed in some of the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.
The Economic Impact
Microsoft estimates that online advertisers are getting short-changed to the tune of $2.7 million a month. In their opinion, ZeroAccess is also an extremely sophisticated program, which is not only difficult to detect on a computer, but is also difficult to completely eliminate, from a network perspective. Because the criminals behind this enterprise can remotely control millions of computers all over the world, pinning them down is extremely difficult. Being somewhat cautious, Microsoft thinks that they can severely inhibit the ability of this program to do damage, but cannot eliminate it completely. However, they do provide a tool on their website which allows any user to verify if they have been infected and if so, remove the virus itself.
Securing Your Data
Any company always needs to be sensitive to their exposure to potential hackers. This implies having the latest technologies at their disposal, and a data centre networking configuration which can withstand any such attack. Using the most skilled and expert companies to accomplish this can ensure that a company’s sensitive information is kept away from prying eyes.
What does the Future Hold?
Unfortunately, as the Internet continues to expand across the globe, there will always be criminals who are looking for ways to gain access to personal or corporate information. Many companies, such as Microsoft, are determined to thwart these attempts, in an effort to make the Internet safe for everybody.