Friday, January 23, 2009

Internet Crimes - Hacking, Phishing, Pharming, Worms and Viruses

The Malaysian government is considering setting up a ‘cyber court’, according to Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor, if he can no longer cope with the many cases of crime related to the Internet. Here are some of the Internet crimes.


Hacking

While computer hacking is the act of modifying computer hardware and software to achieve a goal outside of the creator‘s original purpose, website hacking is trying to gain access into a site unauthorized. The other website hacking is to modify or deform a website. These acts are carried out by hackers.


Phlshing (pronounced as fishing)

It is a fraudulent way to “fish” for sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details to gain access to other people’s accounts. It is done by setting up a website disguising as a genuine entity of, say, a bank.


Pharming (pronounced as farming)

According to Wikipedia pharming is a hacker’s attack aiming to redirect a website’s traffic to another bogus website by changing the hosts file on a victim's computer or by exploitation of vulnerability in DNS server software. Pharming is a major concern for ecommerce and online banking websites.


Worms

Worms can cause major damage to the files, software and data on your computer. They are able to spread themselves quickly by reproduction without attaching themselves to other programs. When you know basic programming you can look for information in the Internet and create a worm without much difficulty.


Viruses

According to Fred Cohen, a computer virus is "a program that replicates by ‘infecting’ other programs so that they contain a copy of the virus. While a worm copies itself across networks and/or systems without attachment, a virus attaches itself to a legitimate program to replicate itself, when executed.


Prevention is better than cure. Take appropriate security measures to avoid computer crimes. Public awareness is also important.

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