Arizona DPS system hacked: LulzSec group claims
responsibility, read more at AZCENTRAL
How could this happen? I would think they have the best
security software, firewall etc!! Well the best security is only as strong as
it’s weakest user (you are the weakest link). Approximately 80 percent of
security breaches start at the private user level. Most hacks are started by
finding that one company official/employee who unknowingly installed a botnet
on their personal PC then using that PC to access the secure network. From the
looks of the lulsec attack on AZ DPS this is most likely what happened. It does
not appear that they were lax with the security. But some person who had access
to their network unwittingly downloaded a free program, signed up for daily
funnies enabled access to his account, give access to facebook apps to make
changes to his computer, these are just a few examples how we could get
infected by malware or become a botnet.
What is BOTNET: This is becoming more and more prevalent.
Hackers write a program/script which basically allows them access to your
computer and internet. The program is usually hidden within applications,
images, websites which appear harmless. Once you give permission by installing,
downloading etc. you have bypassed your antivirus and security firewall. The problem
for the average user is the files and scripts are very similar to regular files
and you have no way to know what is legit and what isn’t.
A botnet file may be on your PC for a long time and you may
never know it is there, as it does not affect the average operation. Hackers
use the file on your pc to hide their identity, by connecting to the internet
through several infected computers it becomes harder to track their IP address.
They also use botnets to send out malware and capture sensitive data, such as
How do I protect myself:
1. Stop downloading sharing free files, images, jokes, and
applications etc. from unknown sources.
Well I got it from my friend: Did
your friend create it? No!! then it is from unknown source.
If you are going to do this, do it
at home from a PC which does not have access to any other network such as your
job or business network.
2. Keep your antivirus current and automatically updating.
I paid for a year that means it is
good for a year right? Every day there are tons of new malicious software being
released, security teams are constantly working to block them. These blocks or
patches/updates are then sent out to protect you. However you will not receive them
if your antivirus is not automatically updating.
But the updates slow my system and
prevents me from working.
Most programs will allow you to set
a time for the updates, we usually recommend setting the time around your
schedule when your PC is on but not being used.
3. I have been careful but my pc still seems to be running
slow. This may be an indication of an infected system, however it may just be
that too many applications running at startup.
We usually recommend having personal computers checked once
every 3 months and business systems once a month by your local IT professional, this
gives them the opportunity to optimize the startup items and also check for
I would hate to be the DPS employee responsible for this
Stay safe and happy web surfing.