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I would like to take the opportunity to thank Matthew Malcolm for his support on Tuesday in helping Harbourside Market resolve a major connectivity issue we were experiencing with the Motorola PDA’s and the commercial wireless installation. Please pass on my thanks to Matthew as his support was very much appreciated.

Merv Williams

Harbourside Market


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Online Threats

Back in the year 2000 only a small portion of computer users had internet access. For those who did, you would remember the simplistic browsing experience consisting of basic text and images. Today it is more than just a library. It is a fully interactive social media experience, and it seems we can’t live without it. For many the internet is now only a touch away, with instant access via the smart phones in our pockets.

The internet is fantastic technology that is forever advancing in both its usefulness and functionality. However malicious software has also had steady growth, and it seems the two go hand in hand. Unfortunately, because the internet has made it so easy to transmit data to anywhere in the world, experts are now saying that on average it takes a computer (without protection) less than 20 minutes of surfing the web before it becomes infected with Malware.

What is Malware?

Malware is short for malicious software. There are many names for the different types of Malware and they are typically named through the manner in which they are spread, rather than the payload they inflict.

Computer Virus –Designed to replicate itself and spread, it infects executable files. When the executable file is run, it causes the virus to further infect other executable files. The virus may also contain a payload which is most often malicious.

Worm – Often confused with a virus, a worm also replicates itself and spreads - however it does not require the end user to initiate the infection by running an executable file. Instead a worm is able to send itself to other computers across a private network or the internet, quite often also carrying a malicious payload. Worms are intelligent enough to hunt down email addresses stored on a computer and use them to forward itself to the next victim.

Trojan – Derived from the myth of the “Trojan Horse”. As the name suggests, it entices the end user to run it, while masking any payloads that are initiated. Trojans are often embedded in other files or software downloaded from the internet. Be wary of free software as even the most legitimate packages may contain Trojans as part of the installation. A brief mention of the Trojan may be listed in the 100 page “end-user license agreement” which the vendor counts on you not reading. Payloads that are executed can do anything from deletion of files to collection of private data. Trojans are a very popular method for initiating a worm attack.

Root Kit - For malicious software to be truly effective it must remain hidden from the end user, thus allowing it to continue issuing its payload without raising suspicion. A root kit is a technique that prevents processes from being visible by Windows or the end user. It can be very difficult to remove malicious threats that can’t be seen.

Backdoor – Quite simply, these allow intruders to circumvent the usual authentication processes when accessing a system. A Backdoor allows for easy access without the knowledge of the end user. Backdoors are often planted on a system through the use of Worms and Trojans. Once a Backdoor is installed, an intruder can use it to access a computer remotely whenever they want.


What is the Purpose of Malware?

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