Zombie PCs also often become spammers themselves, sending out dozens of infected emails to friends, or even people you don’t know – and building the botnets even further, as their criminal masters fade into the background.‘A huge amount of malware is still spread through email attachments,’ says Orla Cox. ‘Although there’s an increase in high-tech methods such as ‘drive-by downloads’, where infected advertising banners and websites are used to spread malicious software, the ‘traditional’ way of spreading infection via spam is still hugely popular.’‘The social engineering is becoming cleverer,’ says Cox. ‘You’ll receive a fake package order, fake invoices – but when you click on the attachment, your computer becomes infected.’Up-to-date protection software and an updated operating system such as Windows will help to defend against such infections before they occur – a much easier way to stay safe than the often-lengthy process of repairing the damage after it occurs.It’s also worth noting that law enforcement won’t treat you as a criminal if you are a victim of this sort of attack. But the best defence of all is, of course, not being a victim in the first place.
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