In The Walking Dead, zombies suck brain matter in a frenzied hunger, completely unaware of what they’re doing – driven only by the need to feed on your brain (and other body parts). In the computer world, a Trojan can be used to turn your PC into its own oblivious slave –a zombie machine without you even knowing.
Your computer could be operating as part of a botnet, taking part in a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, sending out email spam, or spreading malware at this very moment.There are many ways in which your computer can become a zombie, but the most common is through a Trojan installed via a malicious email attachment.
After you open and download a seemingly innocent email attachment, the Trojan runs quietly in the background and allows the attacker full access to everything on your computer.In the spirit of Halloween and the recent Season 4 premiere of The Walking Dead, I thought of some ways we can all survive a zombie apocalypse both online and offline.
Secure all Openings
Finding secure shelter is vital to surviving a zombie apocalypse, but even the most secure structure can be over-run with thousands of zombies in no time if just one door or window is left open. One zombie gets in, bites 10 people, and before you know it, there are 50 zombies taking over your shelter. I can see it now – blood and guts everywhere.
In a similar fashion, all it takes is one compromised zombie computer to spread mayhem all over the internet. Bad guys can get into your system by exploiting openings or vulnerabilities in your software – especially if you don’t keep it up-to-date. Scary cyber criminals are always on the hunt for these holes so they can get inside and terrorize your computer. The good news is security software providers offer protection in the form of releasing new versions that are less vulnerable to attack. In zombie apocalypse terms, it’s like boarding up the broken door or window to keep it securely closed and keep the zombies out.
Don’t trust anyone
In a world where zombies thirst for your brain and people are after your food and supplies, you can’t trust anyone that you do not know. Truthfully, you can’t even trust some of the ones you do know. The online world may be even more dangerous than a real-life zombie apocalypse because you can’t physically see the person you’re communicating with online. There’s no way to tell if they’re a cyber criminal intent on installing malware to zombify your computer from behind the screen. In fact, many bots or zombies are unwittingly installed because cybercriminals pose as someone the owner knows. For that reason, it’s important to know the signs to look out for in a social engineering attack, also referred to as a phishing scheme.
1) Don’t download email attachments from unknown senders.
a. If you know the source, double check with them and make sure they intended to send it.
2) Don’t install pop-ups without first reading the guidelines.
3) Don’t blindly click links from untrusted sources.
4) If you see a link from your friend (in email, text message, or Facebook post) and it looks strange, don’t click it without first asking your friend if they actually posted/sent the link.
Being a bit paranoid or untrusting can significantly improve your odds in avoiding Zombies both online and offline.
Prevention is Key
Zombies are hard to get rid of once they breach your shelter. They seem to multiply faster than you can kill them. Similarly, the rate at which new viruses and malware are reproducing is astounding and traditional security solutions are losing the battle. Detection is no longer enough. Instead, the key to surviving both a zombie apocalypse and a cyber attack is prevention. Don’t wait for zombies to invade before boarding up your windows and securing your doors. Likewise, don’t wait to get a virus on your computer before installing an Antivirus.
With Comodo Internet Security (CIS), you get the best prevention there is – a complete prevention, detection and cure system for your computer. That’s because Comodo Internet Security 6.3 offers 360° protection against internal and external threats by combining a powerful antivirus, an enterprise class packet filtering firewall and an advanced host intrusion prevention system called Defense+.
Once you have CIS installed, all unrecognized applications will be automatically sandboxed and run under a set of restrictions so they cannot harm your computer. This prevents untrusted and potentially malicious applications from damaging your PC or data.
Follow these simple rules and you’re sure to avoid becoming a victim of a zombie computer attack or getting your brain eaten by real-life zombies. Although, if a zombie apocalypse does actually happen, you’re screwed anyway. In fact, you may want to invest in some zombie apocalypse insurance.
Until then, don’t let your computer become zombified!