A former student from the University of Central Missouri has been jailed for 3 years and $61,500 in restitution for his role into the theft of information from the institution
What did he do?
With an accomplice,
- viewed and downloaded the large databases of faculty, staff, Alumni and student information
- transferred money to their student account
- attempted to change their grades
- intimidated potential witnesses
How did they proceed?
They created their own computer virus, distracted an administrator, allowing them to infect his computer with a thumb drive.
The installed virus monitored the administrator network activity, and captured the username and password used. It was also able to take over the computer, using the webcam and downloading his email.
They obtained, may be through the database, the username and password of a residence hall manager and use this to complete financial transactions in their favour.
They also stole and used the identity of other students to access various portions of the network. They also used this to mask their activities, having other students blamed for their actions.
They installed their virus on several other computers in labs and the library, gaining control of them and stealing more data in the process.
They accessed an affidavit used in support on a search warrant, and went on attempting intimidating potential witnesses against them
The full story can be found here
This always happen to others, right?
When is the last time when you click on an email with a link? Do you know the sender of the email? Does the target URL look unusual?
When is the last time you downloaded and installed free software ?
These are 2 methods commonly used to infect computers with the same type of computer virus or malware. Have you checked your bank statements recently?
What can you do?
Don’t do what is described in the previous paragraph! You could use as a browser Firefox, associated with the plugin no script. However, No Script can get in the way of browsing some sites, and forces you to make decision about what you want to accept as page content.
How to avoid computer viruses?
Make sure that you have an up-to-date antivirus software, and complete regular scans.
If you are a Windows user, you can also used windows defender, a good program available as a standard in Win 7 and 8. This program does not replace antivirus software, and detect other type of threats. Start with an in depth scan and then on with regular scan. You should be able to find Defender in the control panel of your PC.
If you are an Apple user, let us know if they is a similar program available.
Word of warning:
If you suspect your PC is infected with a computer virus, even if your antivirus software and Defender find nothing, ask a professional to examine it.
Better safe than sorry!