Trending March 2024 # Online Industries Most Targeted By Cyber Attacks # Suggested April 2024 # Top 11 Popular

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The rate of industrial cyber-attacks has grown exponentially, with data breaches in the first half of 2023 alone exposing 4.1 billion records. Cybercrime has reached such magnitude that if the financial losses were converted into GDP, it would constitute the world’s third-largest economy. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that the global loss due to online attacks reaches a staggering

1.  Gaming

Statista forecasts that the global video game market will be worth more than $138 billion by 2023, which led to this online industry becoming the most targeted by cyber attacks. In addition to the market size, the gaming industry is an attractive target due to its unregulated market of in-game purchases and rare items. Not forgetting that the speed at which technology progresses leaves the sector susceptible to identity and access management challenges, policy violations, misconfigurations, and threats. Furthermore, attackers have identified gamers as a niche demographic with disposable income and a penchant for in-game purchases. According to cybersecurity leaders Imperva, the relatively security-immature gaming industry accounted for 35.92% of the total DDoS attacks in 2023. Research has found that gaming represents such a large percentage of these particular attacks due to players’ willingness to pursue drastic measures to win. A 2023 lawsuit brought forward against a purported DDoS-for-Hire service by game developer Ubisoft highlighted an instance where players could use DDoS to win multiplayer online games. This tactic’s reasoning lies in the fact that once a player loses connectivity, the player that remains online is victorious. DDoS only accounts for a portion of attacks with additional cyber threats such as phishing, malware, and social engineering used to steal gaming accounts and passwords. From here, hackers can sell gaming accounts, game-related artifacts, or trick gamers into launching third-party software entirely unrelated to the game.  

2.  Online Casinos 

Compared with gaming, online casinos have faced significant industrial cyber attacks over the years. Still, they have come out on top due to the industry’s maturity and acknowledging the dramatic repercussions a successful attack could pose. The industry has taken heed of any potential cyber risks and acted accordingly to safeguard its platforms. The introduction of cryptocurrency as a form of payment further protects players’ identities and personal information as blockchains are virtually impossible to hack. Successful cyberattacks are far and few between, although SBTech, an iGaming, reported a ransomware attack in March 2023. The company shut down its global data centers for more than 72 hours, leaving its customers without consumer-facing websites. The company successfully prevented any data breaches despite the attack with zero data compromised. Fortunately, online casinos employ stringent safety protocols and incorporate sophisticated bank-grade encryption to keep players’ personal and financial details secure. DDoS attacks are frequent, with the online casino industry experiencing 32.25% of the global DDoS attacks in 2023, but most online casinos have reacted to this threat by implementing Cloudflare DDos Protection.

3.  Computers and internet

Cloud services have come under severe threat, with research from DivvyCloud indicating that data breaches that resulted from cloud misconfiguration costing businesses nearly $3.18 trillion in 2023. A Trustwave Global Security Report released in 2023 detailed that the volume of attacks on cloud services more than doubled (a 250% spike) from mid-2024 to mid-2024. Before 2023 the main reasons for server hacks were to exfiltrate sensitive corporate information, set up DDoS infrastructure, or other cybercrime variances. Investigations detailed in Aqua’s 2023 Cloud-Native Threat Report have revealed that the vast majority of recent attacks on cloud servers aim to mine crypto by taking control of the servers by planting malware that hackers upload to public registries. Taking control of cloud services has become so competitive that malware now incorporates complex techniques that effectively disable rival malware on the same hacked system.  

4.  E-commerce

According to Deloitte’s 2023 annual forecast, E-commerce holiday sales would reach $196 billion in the festive season, resulting in a 35% increase year on year. The incredible revenue naturally attracts hackers that have pivoted from outdated POS (Point of Sale) malware to web-skimming. IBM’s X-Force Exchange, a threat intelligence platform, indicates that e-commerce threats have increased fourfold since 2023. The vast majority of the online threats now originate from seven to 12 groups collectively referred to as Magecart, with the term synonymous with web-skimming. Web-skimming utilizes malicious JavaScript code into e-commerce checkout pages, sending payment card data directly to the attackers. According to RiskIQ, a Leader in Attack Surface Management, an average of 425 Magecart incidents occurred every month in 2023.  

5.  Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Cryptocurrency exchanges and startups are high-value targets for industrial cyber attacks. Successful breaches can result in massive financial losses from cryptocurrency and user database theft. Hacker access to user databases is exceptionally problematic for investors as exchanges store large user databases containing sensitive personal information, including user-submitted documents used to verify their identity with crypto exchanges. These documents often take the form of government-issued ID, selfie, or proof of address, which could put investors at risk of targeted attacks and identity theft. Cryptocurrency exchanges suffered massive losses in the last two years, with $170 million stolen from Italian-based Nano in 2023. The same year, a Korean crypto exchange Coinrail reported losses of over $40M in tokens following a hack. The popular crypto exchange, Binance, reported a loss of more than $40 million in bitcoin after a well-orchestrated hack in 2023. In 2023 Harvest Finance lost $24 million after a hack, while a cyberattacker stole roughly $150 million in crypto stored in hot wallets from KuCoin.   Final Word Cybersecurity issues are becoming an everyday concern for online industries. Recent studies and cybersecurity reports detail an exponential increase in data breaches and online attacks from various sources, with these attacks accounting for billions in global financial loss. Additionally, research suggests that a vast majority of online industries are poorly-equipped to handle the constant onslaught of attacks in an ever-changing technological arena, with many companies maintaining poor cybersecurity practices and unprotected data at severe risk of breaches. As mentioned, numerous online industries have suffered colossal losses due to ineffectual security precautions, with company cultures forced to incorporate prevention and security best practices for fear of further repercussions. However, the fight is far from over as hackers continually change their strategies and target industries ill-equipped to defend their assets.

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4 Most Common Cyber Attacks Used Against Older People In 2023

Cyber criminals preying on the elderly is a big problem throughout the world. While all age groups are equally vulnerable to two-bit frauds, the elderly may be prone just a bit more. Many retirees, widowers and lonely grandparents may have their entire nest egg easily accessible, and that makes them targets.

There are other factors as well. Many elderly arrived late on the technology scene and would have developed easy habits such as an unwillingness to use complex passwords or learn about new security hacks. As a generation, they generally are more polite to strangers, a trait potential fraudsters often use to reel in their victims. Having said this, with a little bit of awareness, the elderly can avoid becoming victims to the most common forms of cyber attacks.

1. Phishing Attacks

According to 2023 peer-reviewed research in Colorado, 102 older adults and 91 younger people were subjected to psychological tests on phishing detection. Their ability to suspect replicas of popular eCommerce websites was measured. All the individuals were regular Internet users, had no brain injuries and gave informed consent for participation in the study.

The older adults reported twice the likelihood of becoming a victim of phishing attacks compared to younger adults (53.47% vs. 26.37%). They also confessed to letting their guard down more often at home as compared to laboratory settings (47.47% vs. 18.68%). Although it is just one research on phishing, the implications are quite serious.

Tips: irrespective of age, one must take basic security precautions to protect against phishing. These include updating your OS and applications and changing the DNS server that can prevent URL misdirection.

A few more tips include:

“If too many windows are opening without your permission on a browser, use Alt + F4 to shut everything down.”

“It is always a good habit to clear the browser cache frequently. Use Ctrl + H on Google Chrome.”

“Set up strong passwords. If you cannot remember them, save them using tools like LastPass.”

2. Behavioral attacks

For obvious reasons, the elderly are frequently a target of certain kinds of behavioral attacks. These include senior dating and romance scams, anti-aging and other prescription pills, charity and investment swindles, and fake help requests by “family members.” While anyone can fall prey to a well-oiled con job, what makes some of the elderly more vulnerable is their loneliness.

Tips: One of the best ways to deal with behavioral scams is to change your privacy options in Windows “Settings.” It is also recommended to turn Windows Defender Security Center settings on to prevent any misdirection to online scam websites. Also, never open en email attachment from people you do not trust. Immediately hang up on any phone calls or chat messages that may appear suspicious.

3. Consumer Fraud

Fake e-Commerce websites are on the prowl for vulnerable elderly who may not have sufficient knowledge about their genuineness. When they order online, there is a chance that the product may not be delivered at all, or that it might come with hidden charges. It is important to check if the website in question is genuine. There are agencies such as Better Business Bureau which list all genuine online businesses.

Tips: supposing you buy frequently from chúng tôi avoid dealing with companies having questionable server IP addresses and email aliases such as:

4. Identity Theft

Most identity thefts begin at the weakest link: a poor password or PIN. The other day I had to assist an older uncle in his mid 60s after he got locked out of his own Facebook account. He used a simple numeric password that, according to Kaspersky password check tool, wouldn’t have taken longer than three minutes to crack. Later he told me he uses the same eight-digit numeric password for Gmail, bank accounts and the government tax portal!

Tips: irrespective of age, it should be standard practice to avoid sharing personal details including credit card numbers, one time passwords, date of birth and other inputs with anyone let alone random strangers. Always suspect people claiming to be from a government agency, tax audit firm and other scaremongers.

Conclusion

Despite several notable exceptions, many senior citizens are not nearly as tech-savvy as the millennial generation. However, the tips above will serve as a strong deterrent against most unpredictable attacks.

What is your take on this topic? Do you disagree with the assumption that the elderly may be more vulnerable to cyber-criminals? If yes, do let us know.

Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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The 3 Most Common Mistakes In Digital #Marketing By Startups

You have reached the point where another cup of coffee won’t make a difference. In fact, a whole pot wouldn’t give you the energy you need to complete all of your digital marketing tasks.

This is a problem for many startups.

Here are three of the most common mistakes in digital marketing by startups, all of them are correctable and fixing any or all of them can have a huge impact on your digital marketing return on investment.

Mistake 1: Not Focusing Your Digital Marketing On Business Objectives

If your startup is posting on Facebook, you need to defend why your startup chooses to spend their time and energy on that digital marketing activity from a business perspective. It may be great for your ego that you got 10 shares on a post, but how do those shares actually lead to profit?

[pullquote]Don’t forget that just because you are an amazing tech startup that you are also still a business. [/pullquote]

Just like any other business, your startup needs to achieve revenue. The way to make achieve this revenue with digital marketing is to have all of your activities either achieve or move users towards achieving concrete business objectives.

The best way to correct the mistake of digital marketing without business objectives is to create a marketing funnel. Since not all of your digital marketing results in an immediate sale, this marketing funnel will have a series of steps, each one of which is a small business objectives (getting an email address, users filling out forms, etc.) which lead to your ultimate business objective which is usually a sale.

Once you have mapped out your marketing funnel, you have shifted your mindset towards viewing your digital marketing through a business lens. Use this lens to see what digital marketing activities actually move the needle. If the digital marketing activity does not move users towards your business objective, you can either stop spending your time and money on that particular activity or reconfigure your strategy and test to see if it is possible to achieve business objectives with it.

Resources:

A good example of how to create your marketing funnel via HubSpot.

Defining quality versus quantity for business objectives via Nerds Do It Better (my company)

Mistake 2: Trying To Market On Too Many Channels

Instead of trying to utilize a selection of digital marketing channels effectively, startups often attempt to have a presence on every channel and end up executing them all poorly.

This is how it happens:

You sign up your startup for accounts in all of the social networks and frantically drop in, make a lot of noise, and do not interact according to the norms and the standards of that particular channel. Instead of adding value to the conversation, your startup looks like a jerk and turns potential customers off.

The mistake is that your presence on these networks is sporadic and doesn’t allow you to understand the community and authentically connect with the users. You shouldn’t necessarily be sending the same message on Twitter as you would on email or Facebook or Instagram. However, you do not have the time nor the staff to interact on all of the networks in a way that engages visitors and moves your startup towards business objectives.

The best way to correct this mistake is to begin your digital marketing with one or two channels and spend your time and effort becoming industry leaders on that channel. Once you have mastered a select group of channels, you may want to expand, or you may find that you can sustain your startup’s growth on those one or two channels.

To choose the optimal channel for your startup, find out which channels your customers already frequent. Research and spend time on those channels to become a valuable member of the community that adds value with your digital marketing messages.

Resources:

Choosing the right social networks via Search Engine Land

Creating more than social media noise via Scott Stratten

Mistake 3: Trying To Market To Everyone

If you attempt to target everyone, you target no one. This is a mistake that I learned early on (the hard way!).

The average consumer is exposed to 5,000 marketing messages per day, which means your digital marketing messages need to stand out by being the most tailored to your audience. If your startup attempts to market to an audience that is too diverse with a wide range of wants, needs, and desires you will be unable to craft digital marketing messages that resonate with anyone. Additionally, with this large audience your marketing messages is competing against a much larger pool of competitors. You want to target a narrow audience (sometimes called a niche) and create messages tailored to them.

You can narrow your target audience by various demographics and psychographics. Demographics are quantitative variables such as age, gender, income, location, and income. Psychographics are qualitative measurements and are often self-defined such as fans of the Patriots, investors, or environmentalists.

Narrowing your message down creates a feeling for that audience member that it is just for them. For example, if you are a startup that provides social media marketing to Crossfit gyms you could narrow your targeting by simply changing the title of your blog, if it was originally titled 7 Things Your Business Needs To Know About Marketing, it would be more tailored by changing the title to 7 Things Your Gym Needs To Know About Facebook Marketing and would be best tailored by titling it 7 Things Your Gym Needs To Know About Facebook Marketing. Even though CrossFit gym owners are business owners, narrowing and tailoring the message makes it resonate more with them.

From experience I have found that tailoring marketing messages to a narrow audience:

Increases the return on ad spend

Increases  email open rates

Increase the amount of feedback on the social networks

Bonus tip: It is important to think about who your target market actually is. For example, if your startup is a site that connects tutors with underperforming school children, initially you may create digital marketing messages tailored to the kids who are underperforming. However, the kids aren’t the ones with the purchasing power: your actual audience is the parents. You would want to target parents of underperforming kids for your marketing with messages that resonate with them.

Resources:

Defining your target audience via QuickSprout

How to define your target audience via Raven Tools

As a startup, you have a limited budget and limited time to perform your digital marketing. You do not have the financial and staff cushion of larger companies and must be especially careful to avoid mistakes. By tying your digital marketing activities to business objectives, choosing your digital marketing channels specifically, and targeting a specific audience, you avoid three of the most common mistakes startups make with digital marketing and will begin to see profits increase.

What is the biggest digital marketing mistake your startup made and what lesson did you learn from it?

Image Credits

Image #2: hobbit via Shutterstock

How To Create An Online Course – Step By Step Guide

So you know something, and you want others to learn it too. That’s a great step. It is tremendous to think about knowledge sharing. We all live in this world, every day, learn, implement in life and get to know more about many other things. This happens when you get to know them from someone.

Sharing your ideas and insights with others is an excellent means to learn new things. With the world going completely digital, we have seen even education systems taking syllabus to online teaching due to the recent events. 

In times like these, it is a very profitable and smart step to consider creating courses online. Before that, it is essential to learn the basics of how to create an online course. With all the time in hand, most people make the best use of it by studying various courses. So if you have an idea in mind to curate an online course, then this is for you to read. Once you learn how to create a money-making online course, you will find it the best thing.

Steps to Create an Online Course 1. Personal Branded Website

Before you jump to know how to create an online course, the very first thing to do is to create a website of your own. It would be best if you had an adequately curated homepage for your audience to know more about you and your work. There are various platforms for selling online courses but having a website of your own is a must to add value to your teaching.

For beginners, GoDaddy works excellent. It is considered the most stable web hosting provider. The best feature about this is the 24/7 customer support through any server. 

It can be easily integrated with Microsoft apps and also provides hosting for WordPress. It is reasonably priced for starters and so is highly recommended. Selling online courses from your own website is a remarkable thing for you to know how strong is your ownership over your product.

2. Get A Logo

When you start to learn how to create an online course, it becomes important to know that every brand needs an identity, and similarly, every blog too needs an identity. It will make you stand apart from other blog writers. Curating a logo is also a professional way of showing that you can be trusted with the information that you share on your page. 

Looka’s Logo Maker is one of the simplest logo makers to try. You will be able to choose from a wide range of options but at the same time making sure the design sticks to your requirements. 

The website also helps in designing your page. The best hit is that it is entirely free to create a logo! Give a new life to your page by creating an identity for it. Also creating a logo i.e., an identity will help you better in selling your online course from your own website.

Besides quality content, another most critical requirement is quality videos. It is one of the most important steps in creating an online course. Even if you do not have enough capital to invest in a professional camera, making use of the right video making tools will help you put everything in the right place.

This application also makes the uploading process easier across multiple platforms.

4. LMS

Having an LMS or a Learning Management System in place is essential to make learning easier and hassle-free. You can now store documents, assessment sheets, and other learning materials on a cloud-based platform. Zenler makes e-learning easier. 

You can edit your course material even offline and help you manage courses assigned to trainees, track them and issue course certificates. Zenler makes your course management and tracking a piece of cake!

6. Email Marketing Tool

The best way to keep in touch with customers is by interacting with them frequently. It would help if you told them that your business is active. Most brands use email marketing as a mode for this. This is the most effective step in knowing how to create an online course. 

Email marketing tools make your task of sending emails more accessible. It can have anything to do with sending emails like subject line generators or an inbox placement testing tool, and so on. 

GetResponse is the most convenient way to generate and channelize all your email needs. Newsletters, auto-emails, auto-responders, automated blog digests, you name it, you can get it done through this tool. The tool is well structured to send out correctly – timed emails.

7. Webinar Platform to Sell

Visitors prefer videos more than long texts, and that’s why it is vital to hosting webinars once in a while. WebinarNinja is a tool that will help you host webinars for professional use. Creating an online workshop can help boost this.

8. ChatBot

Chatbots improve customer experience, and this helps create new business opportunities. While creating an online course, a chatbot feature is essential as it helps your audience connect with you in a better way. chúng tôi is a very user-friendly tool for this. This tool will help you and is handy when you are creating an e-learning course.

Now channel your email notifications and integrations in simple steps. Simple drag and drop tool toad relevant questions, installation through HTML code, WordPress plugin or landing page links, instant notifications via email and sophisticated dashboard are some of the key features. 

9. Conversion Tracking

How do you know if someone visiting your page has actually considered your course and signed up for it? If you did get to know won’t the result help n analyze your performance and the content quality? Well, a conversion tracking tool does exactly the trick. 

One of the features with this tool is that it measures the quality of your traffic and it is imperative to know where you stand in the competition. 

10. Running Facebook Ads/ YouTube Ads 11. Messenger Chat

Want to build a Messenger bot? ManyChat can make it for you in simple steps. It is one of the most straightforward tools as it does not need any coding skills. It has a very user-friendly interface, and the basic plan is free. Messenger Chat will help you connect with your students better especially when you are creating e-learning modules.

It can send both broadcasts and campaigns to targeted customers. ManyChat also has a payment feature that lets customers pay through the bot itself. You can automatically reply to the keywords by setting up answers prior, and the same goes with frequently asked questions. 

The analytics provided can help you see numbers for subscribers, the total number of users, reports for stats, and conversation rate.

Conclusion

Creating an online course can sound more straightforward, but it does require a lot of homework and pre-setting to reach the right audience and also for them to get the best out of what you would like to teach them. These pre-steps in creating an online course can help you make your course a hit and also enables you to get excellent revenue out of it.

How To Buy Abortion Pills Online: Step By Step Guide?

According to the World Health Organization, medication abortions are a safe technique to end pregnancy up to 12 weeks. In the conventional healthcare model, patients receive two drugs to cause a miscarriage: mifepristone which prevents the body from releasing the hormone progesterone, and misoprostol straight away or 48 hours later, before a pregnancy is confirmed via urine, blood, or ultrasound testing.  

However, performing an abortion at home also referred to as a “self-managed abortion,” can be both secure and prosperous. The second medication makes telemedicine abortions inaccessible in specific locations by causing cramping and bleeding to remove fetal tissue from the uterus. The results of medically induced abortions in patients who were given their first medicine dosage and an ultrasound in a clinic.

The FDA warns consumers who buy their medicine online to ensure the pills are obtained from reputable telehealth providers. Fake abortion pills can be expired, potentially dangerous due to contaminants or improper medications, ineffective (sold without the correct active ingredients), or both. Buyers must purchase their medicines from verified sources to ensure it is safe. The changing landscape for access to contraceptives has allowed rogue online pharmacies to sell fake or sub-par abortion pills.

Self-managed abortion allows pregnant women to purchase pills from online pharmacies without a prescription, but it’s essential to ensure these pharmacies provide the right drugs. Board-certified medical professionals should consult with patients before writing a prescription that the service will fill and send to the patient.

How to buy online?

Verify Your Pregnancy An ultrasound is valuable because it can rule out the extremely unusual but potentially fatal condition known as ectopic pregnancy, in which a fertilised egg implants itself outside the uterus. If you think you might be pregnant, confirm it with an ultrasound or a home pregnancy test.

Utilize a Private Connection to Go Online

It’s better to open a private window, use a search engine that protects your privacy, or use the Tor web browser, which doesn’t save your search history, if you reside in a state where abortion is currently illegal (or you want to keep your online activity private).

Consult a Reputable Organization Promoting Access to Abortion

There is also the website, which provides a regional director for those looking for abortion medical assistance. A trustworthy resource for information on reproductive health issues, such as the availability of and access to abortions, is Planned Parenthood. A non-profit website that offers state-by-state details on how Americans can obtain abortion medication. For those who might not be able to get this information elsewhere, it is crucial to provide reproductive justice information online. “[Abortion tablets] are a cutting-edge medical innovation. Everyone who need it and is eligible for it medically should have access to it. All fifty states ought to have access to it, she asserts. Sadly, “rules in certain jurisdictions are restricting access to both telemedicine abortion and abortion treatment in general,

Consult a Doctor to Verify Your Eligibility for the Abortion Pill Have follow-up inquiries using a telehealth Decide on the price of abortion pills and purchase them from a reputable pharmacy

Plan C’s independent laboratory, for instance, examines prescription drugs that may be picked up in person (for example, certain pharmacies in Mexico will send. For instance, Plan C’s independent laboratory examines medicines that can be obtained in person (for example, certain pharmacies in Mexico will ship to the Texas-Mexico border), sent directly to your home from pharmacies in India, or obtained through a mail-forwarding service. Certain state agencies and businesses like Reprocare offer financial aid if you cannot pay. Aid Access may be able to provide financial assistance in states without access to telehealth abortion. If none of these options suit you, you can still purchase abortion pills by using foreign online pharmacies.

Wait 4 to 14 days for the delivery of abortion pills

Giving patients the choice to get abortion pills via telehealth is an innovative, practical, and secure method of patient-centred care. You should anticipate a delivery time of 4 to 14 days for tablets. While some pharmacies and telehealth companies provide overnight or rapid delivery alternatives, people who wait for their medication to come from an overseas pharmacy can expect additional delays while items clear customs. Additionally, it can take a few days for certain telehealth providers to process intake forms or schedule an appointment. And a lot of individuals adore this access method. It’s not the only type of access we want; it is a contemporary and practical method too.

Virus Attacks Reach ‘Epidemic’ Proportions

Wave after wave of new worm variants are pounding IT managers, as well as anti-virus

vendors, threatening to overwhelm current security measures.

Just as the industry was reeling yesterday from the weekend release of a new Netsky variant

and five new Bagle variants, another two Bagle variants and one more Netsky variant have hit

the Internet. The variants are coming so fast that at least one anti-virus vendor has warned

its users to update their software every hour.

”It’s like a tsunami wave, with all the variants crashing down at once,” says Ken Dunham,

Ken Dunham, director of malicious code at iDefense, Inc., a security intelligence company

based in Reston, Va. ”We’re getting wave after wave of attacks and they’re significant

attacks… It’s a constant deluge. It’s annoying and it’s frustrating and people are getting

tired of it.”

Anti-virus company, Panda Software, is calling the attacks an ‘epidemic’.

Netsky-D, alone, has caused $58.5 million in damages worldwide, according to mi2g, a

London-based security assessment company. And as that variant continues to wreak havoc

network shares, but so far is not causing as much trouble as its predecessors.

”Whoever is behind the Netsky worms is hell bent on causing as much chaos as possible,”

says Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, Inc., a Lynnfield, Mass.-based

anti-virus and anti-spam company. ”They have deliberately released new versions of their

virus, tweaked to try and avoid detection by anti-virus software. Computer users should heed

the warning and be wary of any unsolicited email attachment.”

The Bagle family ushered in Bagle-H and Bagle-I yesterday. Bagle-H, which Sophos upgraded

from a low to a medium threat, is an email worm which contains a password-protected Zip file

which avoids anti-virus detection. When the attachment is opened, the worm opens up a

backdoor on Port 2745 and waits for commands from the virus author. Bagle-I follows the same

pattern but has been tweaked to avoid detection by anti-virus software programmed to stop

Bagle-H.

”As soon as detection for a new variant is added to anti-virus software, literally, within

a couple of hours we’ll see the slightest modification done to a new variant to avoid

detection,” says Steve Sundermeier, a vice president at Central Command, Inc., an

anti-virus company based in Medina, Ohio. ”It’s very apparent to me that there’s a cat and

mouse game going on. With this kind of timing, this has to be a deliberate attack trying to

strain anti-virus companies.”

But while anti-virus companies are struggling to keep up with the deluge of attacks,

corporate IT managers are faced with the same problem. They’re fighting to keep anti-virus

software updated, to keep users from panicking and to keep software patched.

” That strains us but IT managers have to be on their toes at all times, as well,” says

Sundermeier, who adds that Central Command has told its large customers to update their

anti-virus software every hour, as opposed to once a day or every four to six hours. ”This

is a definite strain on the IT field. When you have variants C,D,E,F,G,H,I within a matter

of 72 hours, that’s crazy.”

Dunham of iDefense says he’s concerned that it’s simply not feasible for some IT managers to

have the time and capacity to update their anti-virus software that frequently.

”My question is, How reasonable is that?”, asks Dunham. ”IT managers are having to change

the way they operate. It’s all about how rapidly they can respond to wave after wave of

attack. They’re on the line to be in the know about what’s going on as it’s happening. If

they don’t have up-to-date information, they’re hanging in the wind.”

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