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A New Type Of Web Site Attack!

A New Type Of Web Site Attack!
September 08
09:02 2014

Microsoft is racing to address a weakness in its popular Web browser that security experts at FireEye (FEYE) have revealed most recently. The researchers discovered that hackers have exploited the bug and created a new type of attack.

How Does the Bug Work?

– Hackers set up a website that installs malware when you visit it.

– If you’re duped into visiting the website while using the Internet Explorer program, malware seeps into your computer and gives a stranger total control. You might not even notice.

The dreaded reality of the situation is that someone taking control of your computer is just the beginning of the worst case scenario because then they easily steal your info, get access to your email, etc.

The Bugs Capabilities

But this bug is more omnipresent than it seems. Lots of machines use Windows -bank ATMs, point of sale systems, restaurant seating tools and Internet Explorer as their default browser.

– If hackers manage to send them to a bad website, that machine is now under their control. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible.

– This type of attack is particularly nasty, because it affects every version of the Web browser from IE6 through IE11. That’s more than half of the browsers in use right now, according to Web analytics site NetMarketShare.

– It’s not the first time hackers use add-ons like Flash to assault computers. But this hack, first publicly disclosed by FireEye, was described as a “zero-day”.

– That means that the attack is a unique, never-before-seen technique meaning that it’s a particularly dangerous vulnerability, since it hasn’t yet been patched.

Worst Case Scenario!

Researchers that test the impact, have accessed control systems for heart rate monitors, traffic lights, home security apps, swimming pool acid tanks and gondola rides  – none of which had security protocols of any kind built in. Imagine the damage that could be done if the wrong people tinkered with those systems.

–  The nation’s critical infrastructures of utilities – power plants, water treatment centers, dams, etc. all run on cyber platforms. Much of it is Internet-accessible.

– The repercussions of a cyber-to-physical hack could be fatal like:

– A dam told to ignore pressure readings could burst

–  A power plant taken offline could pull the plug on hospitals.

– And on a personal level, consider how our cars are essentially computers at this point, ad some internet accessible. The average car now has 50 or more microprocessors inside of it. And recent research has shown they’re just as hackable as our PCs. If something goes wrong on the highway, it’s not like a malfunctioning app you just close. Your life is at risk.

Recommended Safety Precautions

– The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends that people ditch Internet Explorer until there’s a patch.

– Use Chrome (Google)

– Firefox (Mozilla)

– Safari (Apple)

– Or install special software in the meantime instead.

– You don’t think of them as Windows PCs running software therefore businesses must talk to equipment vendors to determine how vulnerable they are.

– Because this attack relies on a few of Internet Explorer’s extra features, just disable them becomes an easy fix.

– FireEye advises disabling the Adobe (ADBE) Flash plug-in.

– While Microsoft works on patching the bug, its engineers suggest running your browser in “Enhanced Protect Mode.” But computer experts say that will likely ruin your online experience.

That’s why the easiest solution is to just ditch Internet Explorer and use another browser. This attack doesn’t affect other Web browsers like Google (GOOG) Chrome, Mozilla FireFox or Apple (AAPL) Safari.

The real danger actually lies in the frightening fact that anyone in control of your computer can spy on everything you do. If it’s a PC at work then hackers can reach into anything a user has access to.

Keeping ahead of Changes

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– Kelvin Davis is the director or Greymouse, a cloud 24/7 oursourcing provider, with offices in Fiji and the Philippines. Insider business news is now available at . Just visit the site and sign up for your free news subscription.



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