Today’s threat landscape is more hostile than ever before. Modern advances in phishing and spam have shown that the hacker’s methods have become more psychological than technological. Users are now targeted via email and the Web and asked to write their sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords for online banking, by sites that look so credible many people cannot even tell the difference.
Once the hacker has tricked the user into downloading the malware, the hacker is free to explore your workstation—for private data, usernames, and passwords, and personally identifiable information such as your Social Security Number or bank account data.
When was the last time you heard about a major virus outbreak on your local news? Two years ago? Viruses are dead.
However, the outbreaks did not stop because virus authors chose to pack up and go home. But, they stopped because their main purpose, publicity, was no longer interesting. They wanted something more, such as money, sensitive data, and sustained access to unauthorized systems, to leverage those system resources, so they improved their methods, techniques, and tools, aligning them with their new motives to be discreet and target-focused. Thus began the age of malware and rootkits.