Article — Fighting Computer Crime

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Cybercrime. Cyberattack. Cybersecurity. Thanks to a group of cybersecurity experts, the good news is the “Internet Doomsday” infection that was expected to shut down internet access on July 9 died a quiet death. The bad news is as long as there are computers there will be more cybercrimes than any one group can handle, and those crimes cost businesses, governments, and computer users millions of dollars a year.

Enter a new player called the Industry Botnet Group (IBG). The IBG is a voluntary group of companies, trade associations, and non-profit organizations allied with foreign and US government agencies. Their mission is to fight cybercrimes—especially those caused by botnets.

What’s a botnet? A botnet is a network of computers infected with malicious software that allows all the computers to be controlled without the owner’s knowledge. Large groups of computers, working together, can generate lots of spam or viruses, and can take down a specific web site or server by flooding it with requests.

Image source: Tom-b via Wikimedia Commons

Image source: Tom-b via Wikimedia Commons

Here’s why you should care: If you’re connected to the internet, you are at risk of becoming part of a botnet—and unwittingly helping to commit cybercrime.

The IBG wants to help you avoid that fate. Simple cybersecurity tips include installing anti-malware programs, keeping them updated, and running scans on a regular basis. In addition, your computer should be protected with an anti-virus program and a firewall.

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