Computer Crime Research Center


Where the Dangers Are

Date: July 18, 2005
Source: The Wall Street Journal
By: David Bank and Riva Richmond

... so far were merely "science projects" for hackers wanting to see if they could attack mobile devices, says Victor Kouznetsov, senior vice president of mobile solutions for McAfee. "They discovered it's not that hard."

Mr. Pironti of Unisys says people should use built-in Bluetooth security features that let only authorized headsets and PCs talk to their phones. They should also change default passwords for wireless headsets. Meanwhile, security-software companies are rushing to offer antivirus protection for mobile devices. Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo Inc. sells phones with built-in antivirus software from McAfee. A number of large carriers offer similar protection from F-Secure Corp. of Finland.

But the best defense will come from wireless carriers blocking attacks within their networks, before they can reach people's phones, says Gartner Inc. analyst John Pescatore. Cellphone users should start asking their providers what protection they offer or intend to provide, he says. F-Secure, for one, says its network-level technology has been deployed by nine wireless operators that altogether serve 32 million subscribers.


What's the quickest way to get your computer infested with spyware, bots and Trojans? Let your kids use it.

Kids often use music and video file-sharing programs like Kazaa, LimeWire and BitTorrent, where they can unwittingly download adware and spyware. They also pick up nasty programs at "code and cheat" sites, which help them get higher rankings in online games. And curiosity will take them to plenty of other risky places, including porn sites.

Some security experts advise parents to have a separate computer for the kids. John Esposito of Ridgewood, N.J., keeps financial records on his own laptop, so they won't be endangered if nine-year-old Zoe or 13-year-old Zach inadvertently lets in a hacker program.

In addition to protecting their PC with the usual array of security software, parents can use parental-control tools to restrict access to inappropriate sites. Parry Aftab, executive director of WiredSafety Group, a New York-based advocate for online safety, recommends kid-safe search engines, such as Yahoo Inc.'s Yahooligans and Ask Jeeves Inc.'s Ask Jeeves Kids. These sites won't steer kids to sites meant for adults, including porn sites that try to lure visitors with misspellings of popular keywords.

Parents should also talk to their children about online dangers and set ground rules for computer use. Parents may even want to use some spyware tools of their own to monitor what kids do online. Ms. Aftab recommends monitoring software from SpectorSoft Corp. because it's able to capture instant messaging in multiple formats.
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2005-11-02 10:21:57 - Thank you for the information! Misho
2005-09-10 21:21:25 - Ref: to article excerpt "CRASHING THE... William Linden
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