Risk
4/11/2008
05:07 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Study Finds 'Alarming' Ignorance About Cybercrime

"Consumers' unsecured computers play a major role in helping cybercriminals conduct cybercrimes," the National Cyber Security Alliance warns.

At the RSA Conference on Wednesday, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) reported that U.S. consumers don't understand botnets, networks of compromised computers that have become one of the major methods for attacking computer systems.

"Botnets continue to be an increasing threat to consumers and homeland security," said Ron Teixeira, executive director of the NCSA, in a statement. "Consumers' unsecured computers play a major role in helping cybercriminals conduct cybercrimes not only on the victim's computer, but also against others connected to the Internet."

The NCSA survey involved 2,249 online consumers between the ages of 18 and 65, polled by Harris Interactive.

The NCSA said its study indicates that Americans understand that their computers can be subverted, thereby degrading security for others.

Among the study's findings: 71% are not familiar with the term "botnet"; 59% believe it's unlikely that their computer could affect homeland security; 47% believe it's not possible for their computer to be commandeered by hackers; 51% have not changed their password in the past year; and 48% do not know how to protect themselves from cybercriminals.

Such findings should come as no surprise. Last October, a joint study conducted by McAfee and the NCSA found that almost half the consumers surveyed erroneously believed their computers were protected by antivirus software.

Moreover, the ongoing success of social engineering attacks demonstrates that people are easily fooled. And really, given the frequency with which studies exposing people's ignorance about all manner of things appear, it should be assumed that more education about everything is needed.

Teixeira considers it "alarming" that people don't know how to keep their computers secure.

That may well be cause for alarm, but it's worth noting that companies with highly paid IT professionals get hacked, too. That's at least as alarming, if not more so.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Must Reads - September 25, 2014
Dark Reading's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of identity and access management. Learn about access control in the age of HTML5, how to improve authentication, why Active Directory is dead, and more.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2003-1598
Published: 2014-10-01
SQL injection vulnerability in log.header.php in WordPress 0.7 and earlier allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the posts variable.

CVE-2011-4624
Published: 2014-10-01
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in facebook.php in the GRAND FlAGallery plugin (flash-album-gallery) before 1.57 for WordPress allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the i parameter.

CVE-2012-0811
Published: 2014-10-01
Multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities in Postfix Admin (aka postfixadmin) before 2.3.5 allow remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via (1) the pw parameter to the pacrypt function, when mysql_encrypt is configured, or (2) unspecified vectors that are used in backup files gene...

CVE-2012-5485
Published: 2014-09-30
registerConfiglet.py in Plone before 4.2.3 and 4.3 before beta 1 allows remote attackers to execute Python code via unspecified vectors, related to the admin interface.

CVE-2012-5486
Published: 2014-09-30
ZPublisher.HTTPRequest._scrubHeader in Zope 2 before 2.13.19, as used in Plone before 4.3 beta 1, allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary HTTP headers via a linefeed (LF) character.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Chris Hadnagy, who hosts the annual Social Engineering Capture the Flag Contest at DEF CON, will discuss the latest trends attackers are using.