It’s long been suspected that China is peeping into the Indian defense bodies by exploiting loopholes in online security. According to the statement of the outgoing National Security Adviser MK Narayanan, the threat came in the format of the Trojan virus coded in a pdf file attachment to an email. The Trojan virus is identified to be capable of downloading and deleting files.
It might not be a coincidence that the attack happened a few days after the US defense, finance and technology companies, including Google, were attacked in a similar fashion. However, it is not coincidental that the country of origin for these attacks is China as accused by the victims.
If industry experts and defense institutions have these kinds of issues, what about the security of lay people like us online? Even to replace a hard-disk we’ll take days to find a technician. As a common Internet user can not expect to have highly sophisticated knowledge and tools he/she is very vulnerable while browsing Internet.
It is worrying if we see the ease with which a computer can be hacked these days – all you need to do is to view a flash image or pdf file that’s waiting in your inbox to compromise your PC. The attacks online are taking a new form every day. Earlier it was only confined to some applications like screensavers and animated cursors. But now, as mentioned above a pdf attachment to your mail is enough to give control of your PC to the hacker. Hackers are now targeting through most commonly used software from reputed companies such as Microsoft, Adobe and Sun Microsystems; so that they can attack maximum number of PCs at one shot and are not suspected because of the reputation of those companies.
We need to rethink about our online habits. We can no longer afford to be casual about connecting the PC to the Internet. Today, being online is as fraught with risk as carrying 10 lakhs in cash (in a situation) in a crime infested neighborhood. So, always be alert while browsing and have sophisticated Internet security software installed.