Why Your PC is a Hacker’s Favorite Weapon

by Mitz Pantic from Tips4pc.com

Why Your PC is a Hacker’s Favorite Weapon

Cyber security isn’t just an issue for governments and corporations, but an issue we all face—that’s because the favorite weapon of hackers and terrorists is your computer.

Enemy #1: Your Computer

If you read any report about the latest hacking attack, you’ll hear about “botnets” or “millions of computers”. These are giant collections of computers just like yours which hackers now control.

Hackers don’t buy these computers—they break into them remotely and then they either use them for evil or sell them to someone else who will use them for evil.

Most people don’t realize that their computers have been taken over until days or weeks later. It could be that your computer is no longer completely under your control right now—you just don’t realize it yet.

What Hackers Do With Your Computer

The easiest type of attack on the Internet is the Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS) attack. The hacker takes thousands or millions of computers and has each one of them repeatedly try to access a site as fast as possible. Since few sites on the Internet can withstand millions of requests a minute, the site can’t respond to legitimate requests from legitimate customers.

DDOS attacks come in several types. Some require a relatively small number of computers—say 100,000 to take down Google. But these small-scale attacks can be blocked after the company determines which computers are powering the attack.

Another DDOS attack uses large numbers of computers and very basic attacks. In this case it might take up to 10 million computers to take down a site the size of Google. Unfortunately, there’s no cyber security defense against this type of attack. Google’s only options are to buy (or rent) extra servers or to wait for the attack to finish, which usually happens when enough people discover their computers are being used in an attack.

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This excerpt appears with permission from Tips4PC.com.

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