Adapted spyware software is the ultimate in online security threats, allowing hackers to take full control of victims’ computers. For a computer user, it is the ultimate security headache: A hacker has secretly taken control of the computer and copied sensitive information such as passwords and credit card numbers. Users often think the odds of getting hit by malicious software are safely low, but there are more invasive and destructive programs on the Web than ever before, computer security specialists say. In response to one of the latest attacks to become public, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission arrested a college student last week on charges that he hacked into someone else’s computer, logged on to his brokerage account, and left the victim with an investment loss of more than US$40,000 (S$70,000). The student allegedly used a version of the Beast – software that gave him control over the victim’s computer. The Beast is an extension of legitimate software that some people call ‘spyware’. Some corporations use spyware to keep track of what their employees are doing on company computers, and parents, to peek at what their children are up to. Full Story
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