Security Information

Information Security for E-businessmen: Just a Couple of Ideas

If you constantly deal with bank or electronic accounts, it must beyour worst nightmare--to wake up and learn that you are a bankrupt.Some crook stole your personal data and all the money you have beensweating blood for years has flown to somebody else's account. Almosteverybody must have heard that such a tradegy is called identity theftand millions of people in the USA alone suffer the same every year.Poor consolation for its victims, isn't it?

Unfortunately, businessmen frequently are targets for identitythieves, especially online. Lots of articles on identity theft,"how-to-avoid" tips, and scary stories about the victims circulatethrough the Web and other media. The authors remind people again andagain that they should be cautious when giving anybody their privateinfo as well as care for their PCs' security. But in spite of alltheir effort identity theft is still the most rapidly growing crime.

Software developers are doing their best, too. They can't be of muchhelp if somebody plainly looks over your shoulder and writes yourcredit card number down. It's for you to take care and never revealyour personal info to anybody who asks for it. What they can do is tocreate new solutions to the urgent problems like data stealing.Keylogging spyware--the very programs that make lots of such crimepossible--are pretty much written about lately. These programssecretly monitor everything users do on their PCs.

Keyloggers are used--by themselves or as a part of a virus or a Trojan-- much more widely than PC users think; it is an open secret that thelion's share of identity theft that happens online is because ofkeylogging spyware. The losses caused by stealing PINs, logins, andother valuable data, are well comparable with the damage from viruses.Actually, if a virus or a Trojan contains a built-in key logger module(and it often does), the end user finds himself in a pretty toughsituation. The problem is that most anti-keylogging programs warnusers when it is too late. The data have already been captured andsent. Why does it happen?

Almost all anti-spy software existing at the present moment worksusing the same scheme: spy program is detected and then blocked oreliminated. Detecting viruses or spy software is the crucial step ofthe whole process--all the protection depends on whether the anti-spysoftware is able to detect as many spies as possible. Signature baseswhich all these products depend on, is actually the "list" ofsignatures - small pieces of spy programs' codes. Anti-virus oranti-spy program actually scans the system and compares its codes withthose in signature bases. So, in this case only the spies whosesignatures already are in the base will be detected and eventually"caught". As long as anti-spy software is regularly updated and thesystem doesn't come across some unknown spyware product, everything isall right.

The problem is that lots of programs which could be used for stealingdata are not included into signature bases right now. Some of themwill never be.

There is good deal of people capable of creating something brand-newspy, unknown to anti-spyware developers. The period of time when a newspy already exists, but the updates have not been released yet, is thevery time when hackers make their biggest profits.

Spy programs can be created for the specific purpose, such asindustrial espionage, so they will never be represented in the base.Moreover, some monitoring programs can be used as spy programs aswell, though they are not always included into signature bases. As wecan see, a signature base is the weak spot of anti-spy protection; itis, so to speak, a joint in the armor. Information thieves also knowabout it.

Fortunately, software developers are constantly looking for newsolutions. One of the new trends in anti-spyware developing is not touse signature bases as means of detecting spyware. There is threebasic advantages in such an approach. First, the product gets rid ofits the least reliable part; second, there is no so urgent need forupdates anymore; and last, but certainly not least--the productbecomes capable of blocking the destructive activity of even unknownspyware. To read more about this new approach follow the link in thesignature.

When products of such a kind become widespread, there would be muchmore problems for hackers in future. However, there is no guaranteethat no innovative spy software appears in response.

Whether we like it or not, all malware "evolves" very quickly; newschemes are being developed, and new software which online criminalscreate and utilize becomes more and more malicious and "selective".New keyloggers as well as keylogger-containing viruses and Trojans,appear all the time; the losses these programs may cause to a businessare enormous. That is why in some businesses there is an acute needfor separate anti-keylogging protection.

Alexandra Gamanenko currently works at the Raytown Corporation, LLC -- an innovative software developing company company. visit its website at

could not open XML input