• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

Potential Threats

Just what kind of damage can be done by someone who hacks into your system? It’s a long and scary list, including

  • Steal your account information. A hacker might stumble onto your system by conducting a multiple-computer scan for easily hackable systems. Once inside, the hacker can steal all your account information (including passwords) and then share that information with other hackers—so they can target your system for future attacks.

  • Read or copy your personal data. Whatever confidential information you have on your PC isn’t confidential if a hacker breaks in. Think of all the files on your PC that you don’t want anyone else to read—or of all the financial data stored on your hard disk—and imagine a hacker browsing through it at will.

  • Damage or delete your personal data or program files. Not only can your data be read or copied to other computers, it can also be deliberately damaged, destroyed, or deleted. In fact, any file on your computer could be wiped from existence—including your application programs and essential operating system files.

  • Infect your system with computer viruses. Sometimes a hacker doesn’t need to stick around to inflict damage. It takes very little time to download a virus onto your hard disk, programmed to trigger at a later date.

  • Overload your system. Even with a broadband connection, your bandwidth is finite. Imagine your computer being bombarded with hundreds or thousands of tiny messages, all at once, and you can see how a hacker can clog your bandwidth and overload your computer.

  • Use your computer to carry out other attacks. It’s relatively easy for a hacker to plant a program on your hard disk that, when activated, effectively hijacks your computer to do the hacker’s bidding. This is often how mass attacks are perpetrated on commercial Web sites—by a hacker operating hundreds of zombie computers by remote control. The advantage to the hacker, of course, is anonymity; when the attacks are traced, it’s your computer that’s fingered, not the hacker’s.


PREVIEW

                                                                          

Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial


  
  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint