Virus Attacks Through Instant Messaging
Viruses used to need a little help before they could get inside of your computer and virtually wipe it out. Today they do not need any help at all; viruses can get right into your computer all by themselves through instant messaging. Viruses past that originated from instant messaging have been able to wipe out millions of computers in literally no time. The concern here is that many people in the corporate world conduct a lot of business through instant messaging.
Of course the virus would pretty much function in instant messaging just like it would in email or other sources, through an attachment but most are concerned with the possibility of what is called a blended threat which is a virus that exploits specific software vulnerability. These viruses can get into your machine and spread a virus in record time without you doing anything at all. One major problem is that there are many security holes in the instant messaging systems which leave them completely vulnerable.
The specific danger is that hackers do not normally have access to your programs all day long, leaving them specific strike times for targeting. Normally, you might check your emails quite a few times a day but you just open it to see if anything is new and close out of it until next time. On the other hand, with instant messaging, usually the messenger is open all day but just minimized when not in use. This leaves a much bigger window of opportunity for the virus writers to intrude.
Your buddy list is just an added gift for those with malicious intent, as they will use that and spread the virus faster than lightning. It spreads to everyone in your buddy list and like a chain effect it does the same thing to everyone else on their lists and just keeps going. Normally when you sign into messenger, automatically the vendor will update any patches for security threats but hackers are good and they can quite often get in before the minute or so that it takes the vendor to install the patch.
Many employees for various corporations and businesses use instant messaging during their work day for non related work issues. This poses a problem because if the computer is not designed for the intent of utilizing instant messenger then it will not likely be protected either. Many people believe that there should be a crack down on employees who misuse instant messaging while working for non related work business. Otherwise, businesses need to protect their systems which will require them to plug in anti virus protection for instant messaging purposes, do not use free IM providers, and find a provider that uses encryption and uses a very extensive testing process.
The instant message hackers have even been known to crack into your system and send copies of all of your IM conversations to everyone on your buddy list. That is a thought that most do not even want to think about but it is also a hard cold reality.
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