Once upon a time, attacks on computers and networks were relatively simple. Our primary worry was viruses and their variants – worms, Trojans, rootkits. Their authors set out with malicious intent, to create software that can cause harm by shutting down a system or an entire network, destroying data and/or programs, or collect information and send it back to the attackers.
Written by: March Thaler
Cybercriminals toyed with retail giant Target, known for the circular red and white logo that symbolizes its name. Information from 40 million guest debit and credit card accounts was stolen – or so it was thought. The initial estimate, already among the largest in U.S. corporate history, turned out to be a fraction of the total. Today, it ranges from 70 million to 110 million, depending on reports.
You would think that with things like automatic updates, applications that can automatically patch themselves, and the constant media attention towards security, hackers would be a dying breed, bereft of targets which they can exploit. Unfortunately, poor patch management practices across the board means that the ever-growing number of connected devices are providing hackers with and endless supply of fresh victims.