Infections in the Real World, Part 2

We’ve talked about infections many times, at our location, in our newsletters, and here on this blog. But you might be asking yourself, just how do real infections act in the real world, without being filtered through a maze of possibilities and opinions that each infection seems to have.

Part 2: Operating Outside a Firewall

What Is a Firewall?

A firewall is a part of a computer system or network that is designed to block unauthorized access while permitting outward communication. A firewall is like the door between your computer or network and the internet. Using a network, either wirelessly or plugged in, that does not have a good firewall in place is like leaving the door between your computer and the internet wide open; anyone who wants to get in or out can.

The Real Life Example

The Conficker worm, which is still active on many computers today despite dropping out of the media’s eye, is primarily spread through networks that do not have adequate firewall protocols. This worm has created a mostly unsuspecting botnet that consists of millions of infected, zombie computers. So long as the Conficker worm stays on an unprotected system, cyber criminals can potentially push malicious software and spam to the infected computers.

How Do I Protect Myself?

When you are connecting to a network, especially wirelessly, you want to ask yourself a simple question: Would I be okay with a group of people looking over my shoulder while I work on this network? If the answer is no, you probably don’t want to access any websites or files that contain potentially sensitive information. If the answer is yes, then go ahead and connect and access files from that network. Remember, your firewall is like the door to your house; you choose who gets a key and who has to stay outside.

Computer Works would like to thank Sophos for information used to write this article.
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