It’s scary to think how much and what kind of information is getting out from your computer. It’s so important to have updated anti-virus software and firewalls on your computer. Click the link at the bottom of this article to read the entire article. It’s well worth it.
SAN FRANCISCO – Getting hacked is like having your computer turn traitor on you, spying on everything you do and shipping your secrets to identity thieves.
Victims don’t see where their stolen data end up. But sometimes security researchers do, stumbling across stolen-data troves that offer a glimpse of what identity theft looks like from criminals’ perspective.
Researchers from U.K.-based security firm Prevx found one such trove, a Web site used as a stash house for data from 160,000 infected computers before it was shut down this month.
The find offers a case study on just how much data criminals are stealing every day, from the utterly inconsequential to the alarmingly private.
It also shows the difficulty in shuttering criminals’ ID-theft beachheads: The Web site that Prevx found, which was operating on a server in Ukraine, was still online for nearly a month after security researchers alerted the Internet service provider and law-enforcement authorities. The site was sucking up data from 5,000 newly infected computers each day.
The victims in the Prevx find are mostly everyday people handing over their passwords for Facebook and banking sites, along with their love notes and other e-mails. But more dangerous personal information is there, too, including Social Security numbers and other account information from one bank’s infected computer.