Threats Of Data-napping

in Data

The incident of a notorious script so-called "GPCode" reaching computers of millions users in Russia and Europe two years ago triggered a new kind of Internet criminal, data-napping. The detailed script sent a message describing its progam's defined duty. The progam was said to automatically embed itself in to the data system of its host computer locating 130 different file types within the hard disk, then encrypt these files and finally eleminate the original files on the drive. 



If we would try to look at it closely, the program was basically kidnapping the user's data-the victim. And as with any other kidnappers in the real world, the "data-napper" left behind a note.


The note will tell you that your files have been encrypted with some sort of RSA-1023 algorithm and if you want to have them recovered, you need to buy a decryptor.


This types of program or script, known to many as the GPCoder, is forms part another group of threats that may be found online called ransomware. In this particular program, cybercriminals extract money from their unsuspicious victims that flock the entire World Wide Web. This type of attack is not as popular as other schemes as adwares or malwares but year after year, ransomware puts in a handful of its menace online that plagues unwary internet users.


Last year, with the advent of the popular iPhone, another hacker produced a ransomware that targets the specific users of iPhones. It enters the phone's system through viruses that are spread through the phone's wireless capabilities. While it focused on a very small percentage of audience, the fact is that people are actually using this type of attack for their own financial gain.


Being a victim of ransomware is just like being a victim of identity theft. Your data is compromised and you are left at the mercy of the criminal. The two may differ on how you, as a victim is treated, because with identity theft, you never know that your account has already been compromised but with ransomware, you know immediately that you've been victimized.


However, evading identity theft and ransomware follows the same security measures:


1. Use only original software. Avoid using cloned or fake software especially for your operating system because these phony applications often have glitches in them that make them vulnerable to intruder attacks and viruses.


2. Update your security software regularly. Updated software can decrease the likelihood of you being infected by viruses and other malicious programs because you have your antivirus, anti-spywre and firewall programs in place.


3. If your data gets kidnapped, do not pay the ransom. There are a lot of cases when various security companies are able to crack the encryption that is scrambling your data which can then increase the likelihood of you being able to recover from the attack. The best thing about it is that, oftentimes, the tool is offered for free.


Again, it all boils down to one thing: you have to be very vigilant in protecting your data.


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Tina L Douglas has 1 articles online

Tina L. Douglas is a well established author on the topic of identity theft.

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Threats Of Data-napping

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This article was published on 2010/07/21