There is No Network Environment Immune
Every platform can be exploited by an attacker. This month’s Mac OS and Security Update included well over 100 fixes to critical security vulnerabilities, many of which could lead to arbitrary code execution. These are exactly the same types of vulnerabilities that Windows malware writers take advantage of. Fortunately for Mac users, their worldwide market share is small enough that malware writers simply haven’t bothered with them. If you use OS X on a Mac, I don’t think you need to install security software, but that recommendation could change someday if Apple’s platform continues to grow in popularity and attracts enough attention from bad guys.
Ransomware Is the Worst Threat to Your Precious Data and Your System
We have entered an age where viruses are now for-profit and even the good guys can’t stop them this time. We are speaking about Ransomware and it is the biggest threat to your data currently. Here at Keystone we have a variety of techniques to prevent and destroy this insidious type of virus. If you should become unlucky and be hit by one of these you had better hope you have off-site backups or you will be recovering no data at all. These types of viruses are probably the worst threat computer users have ever faced and unless you are protected before they get you will be left with nothing.
Antivirus Software Is One Layer Among Several
Depending on the type of threat, it can be very helpful, even if you consider yourself an expert PC user. But it is not a magic bullet, and it is no replacement for a well-rounded approach to security.
Attacks Via Zero-Day Exploits Are Rare
Zero-day exploits get a lot of publicity, but they rarely have a widespread impact. The worst variants of these attacks are the ones aimed at specific companies, like the targeted wave of attacks against Adobe, Google, and other high-profile companies in early 2010. And even those only succeeded because they exploited unpatched systems using an outdated browser.
Good Behavior Alone Is Not Enough To Protect You From Attacks
Visiting bad sites and downloading pirated software puts you at a much higher risk of infection, but even legitimate websites can be compromised, and seemingly innocent results in a search engine can lead to hostile sites.
Many Types Of Malware Are Installed Voluntarily
Among the most common threats are Trojans, which spread via social engineering. The job of a malware writer is to convince you to run his innocent-sounding program, which secretly does something other than its stated purpose. It might claim to be a new video playback plugin but actually turns out to be a program that hides on your PC and steals passwords or ends spam. Social engineering explains how an entire class of malicious fake antivirus programs made it onto the top 10 malware list for the first half of this year.
It’s Not Just Windows That Needs Patching
Some of the most effective malware vectors these days are coming through vulnerabilities in products like Adobe Flash and Reader, in the Java runtime, and in Microsoft Office. In most cases, the vulnerabilities were patched quickly by the software maker, but if you didn’t apply that update, you remain vulnerable. Ironically, most of these exploited programs are cross-platform; in theory, malware authors can add code to their PDF or Java exploits that target Macs or Linux PCs. So far, they haven’t done that.