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Zombies in your Computer

Zombies can be seen everywhere today, even having introduced themselves to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Some may have been introduced to your computer, as well.  So what is a zombie, how does it work, and how can you defeat it?

A computer zomRed Padlock on digital backgroundbie results when a hacker creates a virus or a program called a Trojan which carries a series of instructions for a computer to execute on demand. The hacker often attaches the Trojan to music files, or other favorite downloaded material.

Denial of Service

A favorite zombie task would be to execute a Denial of Service (DoS) or a Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attack to target a particular site, flooding the site with intent to render it unavailable to real users or customers.  Other instructions could be to mine data from your computer for some reason, like account information, or other proprietary information, send spam, attack websites, perpetuate phishing scams, or commit click-fraud.  Denial-of Service attacks usually target well known companies, government sites, banks, and payment servers. The strength of the Zombie is not in the single execution, but in the strength of numbers of the identical zombies infecting many computers. When the hacker sends a signal, each zombie carries out its instructions.  In a denial of service attack, the targeted site is flooded, and your innocent computer identified as the source.

How to prevent Computer Zombies

So how can our innocent computers be spared? Defeating the zombie entails effective use of firewalls, and anti-virus software, and keeping them current.  In the corporate environment, protection against zombies, or other intruders is a strategic imperative.  The ISC2 Organization (International Information System Security Consortium) provides an industry standard certification for systems security, the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). The CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) and the and the CHFI (Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator) are professional certifications provided by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council.).

Check out Ashford Global IT’s Certified Security Courses, and keep those zombies at bay.

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Frank is a leading trainer in IT Security.

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