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Valuable Results From BBC Investigation of Online Crime

A BBC experiment suggests hacking attacks on home PCs could occur more than 50 times every 24 hours. The investigation into Internet attacks on Windows PCs discovered that these attacks could happen as frequently as every 15 minutes. In addition, every hour malware infects an unsecured computer that could disable it or remotely use to access other machines.

These types of 'honeypot' computers are absolutely essential for computer security experts that regularly assess online crime. They help to collect statistics about common attacks, keep copies of malicious programs and study how these attacks work. The malicious programs that travel on the Web regard these honeypots like any other PC. But behind the screen the machines have a variety of forensic tools that assess all computer operations.

Every time the 'honeypots' was put online, malware attacked it. In one night, when online malicious activity was at its peak, there were 53 attacks on the computer.
A hacking attempt that harms a PC with 'buffer overflow', tried to topple the web server incorporated into Microsoft's Windows. If the attack was successful, it would render the control of the machine to hacker. Two 'port scans' that hunt the weak spots in Windows OS, are probed by hackers looking for new prey. 11 attacks by 'Blaster' worm on a machine could well render it unusable. Likewise, three 'slammer' worm attacks can leave the machine crippled and inclined to crashing. Responding to 36 false security warnings or adverts could clog a PC with spyware.

During the process of the experiment, the experts found that on an average, at least one attack was from a severe computer bug, which could cripple an unprotected PC. And every night at least one attack was an attempt to convert a computer into a 'zombie' implement criminal activity without user's intimation.

One hacker admitted on BBC that he earned some $10,000 per day from computer crime. Another said that it was possible to hack online shops within 3-4 hours and sell the data for $100 to $500. The hacker dared the cop to catch him.

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