Tagged With viruses

Shared from Gizmodo

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Experts say it's not a matter of if, but when a global scale pandemic will wipe out millions of people. And we are grossly unprepared for the next major outbreak. But in the event of a devastating pandemic -- whether it be triggered by a mutated strain of an existing virus or a bioengineered terror weapon -- there are some practical things you can do, both before and during the outbreak, to increase your odds of survival.

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In human culture and warfare, the notion of self-destructive attackers like the Kamikaze pilots deployed during World War II, is pervasive. A more recent conflict is the cyber-war between those creating malware and the security firms and cyber-security specialists that attempt to thwart them. In this battle, the recently revealed Rombertik malware is an interesting evolution.

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Macro viruses -- utilising Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to execute code inside Office apps like Word and Excel -- were the most visible form of malware at one point, but improved security in Office meant their prevalence has dropped dramatically in recent years. Now, however, it seems they're on the prowl again.

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In 2012, malware increased by its highest margin in the past four years, with emerging threats such as mobile 'drive-by downloads', Twitter-driven botnets and an explosion in Android malware all helping to bolster malicious activity. In the following infographic, security vendor ZoneAlarm takes a look at the ways in which malware are infecting us -- most involve common computing tasks that you probably performed today.

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This week is National Cyber Security Awareness Week. Security for your computer and mobile phone is vital, but despite the ever-growing range of threats, keeping your systems safe isn't too challenging if you follow some sensible basic steps. Here's a round-up of Lifehacker's most useful security guides.

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Most malware targets Windows machines and vulnerabilities (because there's more of them), but that doesn't mean Macs are immune from security issues, especially of the "click on this tempting site" variety. Sophos is offering a free, unrestricted version of its Mac anti-virus package for home users concerned about security issues.

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Criminals who write malware generally rely on users not realising their intentions, and often go to elaborate lengths to make fake sites and software look legitimate. But there's a secondary group of users afflicted by malware: those who get told a site or application is dangerous but can't resist looking to find out just why it's dodgy.