Is your computer a criminal?

Is your computer a criminal?


Individual bots operate in complete silence, but we all see their handiwork. At this point, almost every spam e-mail is sent from a hijacked computer, according to Uriel Maimon, a researcher at security firm RSA. That means every time you receive a spam, a hijacked computer is at the other end. For evidence of a bot epidemic, researchers point to the recent resurgence of spam, which has doubled in the past 12 months.

Forget Viagra sales: Spammers have largely graduated to manipulating stock markets. Most spam is image spam now, designed to pump up stock prices in thinly traded companies so someone can make a quick profit. In a recent e-mail apparently written by a stock spammer and examined by MSNBC.com, the author brags he can more than double a stock price within two to three weeks.


  1. Have a current operating system (if Windows should be at least Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2))
  2. Have a personal firewall: Windows XP SP2 has a firewall but must be enabled. Zone Alarm is another product (all my company's computers have Zone Alarm!). If you have a router, they can be configured to act a a firewall as well.
  3. Have a current suite of Internet security products (eg. Nortons)
  4. Don't browse the internet using a userid with Admin rights. Only use the Admin rights userid when you need to. Otherwise use a userid with "least user" rights.
  5. Next PC: consider a MAC or a Linux!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Any anonymous comments with links will be rejected. Please do not comment off-topic