Undersecretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Over the past several years, a new threat has emerged on the Internet, increasingly putting consumers at risk. Some industry experts suggest that as many as 1 in 10 computers in the U.S. are part of what is called a botnet.
Industry estimates suggest that one in 10 computers in the U.S. is currently part of a botnet, a collection of computers whose security is compromised by malicious software so they can be used by attackers for criminal activity and espionage.
A series of recent malware attacks have targeted Macs, infecting hundreds of thousands of computers. U.S. CERT recommends that Mac users review the security updates issued by Apple to address these new threats.
A wildly successful book series like The Hunger Games becomes a widely anticipated movie series. That means millions of curious fans on the lookout for sneak peeks, actor bios, author details, and more. Criminals are counting on it.
Yesterday, United States law enforcement officials announced charges against six Estonian nationals and one Russian national for engaging in a massive and sophisticated internet scheme that infected more than four million computers with malware – including half a million computers in the U.S.
Senior Internet Policy Advisor, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Hackers use software programs to search the internet for computers that aren’t protected by up-to-date security software. When they find unprotected computers, they try to install malware that allows them to control the computers remotely. Many thousands of these computers linked together make up a “botnet,“ a network controlled by hackers to steal people’s personal information or send spam. Millions of home computers are part of botnets.
Imagine: You’re happily browsing the internet one day when a host of urgent pop-ups tells you that malicious software has been discovered on your computer. These messages urge you to download software right away to fix the problem.
If you pay for and download the software, the program tells you that your problems are fixed. The reality: there was nothing to fix. And what’s worse, the program now installed on your computer could be harmful.