“How did this happen to me?”
I’m often asked “how did this happen to me?” when cleaning up a machine infected with whatever Bad Guy stuff that was installed. It happens often. Way too much really. The Bad Guys are ramping up their efforts as they find more success. It’s easy and quick to do. Like most criminals, they actively target the easy grab. Too much work is left to more motivated criminals.
“I have nothing worth stealing”
Another popular refrain. Obviously you do, or the effort to trick you into installing the Bad Guy stuff or infiltrating your network wouldn’t exist.
E-Mail: The EUREKA! moment
You likely are using your machine for e-mail. It’s pretty much mandatory these days for all sorts of services and communication. A valid, functional e-mail address might be worth $0.01 (I’m strictly guessing). Get 10,000 or 100,000 or 1,000,000 of those valid e-mail addresses and you’re talking real money that they can get from spammers and the Black Market. If they’re slightly more motivated, they can lock you out and take over your email account.
You just became way more profitable.
Now that they have access and control of your email they also have control of all those other accounts. If you didn’t have them before you can bet you will now. They’ll spend time posting and creating as you so that they can sell off those accounts as well. A Facebook account might be worth $2. An iTunes account maybe worth $5. It’s starting to add up.
It gets worse
Now that they have your e-mail account, they can start REALLY stealing your identity. They can steal credit card info and make fraudulent purchases or simply sell off that information to the highest bidder on the Black Market. They can pose as you and spam any contacts in your email client and possibly trick those contacts into also becoming a victim.
“What am I going to do?”
Check back for “The New Normal? The Bad Guys and You Part 2: The Smack Down”