E-mail Spoofing Affecting
business has not been hit with a virus attack yet, count yourself lucky. The
spread of e-mail viruses continue to be an upward trend. These viruses can be
identified by various names, such as w32/mydoom@mmand, w32/mydoom@mm and worm_mimail.R, with infected file attachments of various
types and a wide variety of obviously suspicious e-mail subject lines (such as
"Thanks" or "Hi" or "Test"). Some are disguised
as undeliverable message notices directing unsuspecting users to open the
businesses and PC users had their e-mail addresses "spoofed." E-mail
spoofing occurs when hackers configure their e-mail client to make messages
appear as if they are coming from someone or somewhere they are not. This hides
the identity of the original sender and can make it hard to track him or her
down. The e-mail message usually contains some sort of virus.
security must remain a high priority for every business. The Better Business
Bureau suggests your business take the following security measures to help
guard your computer systems from viruses:
- Install anti-virus protection software
on all of your computers. Scan your computer systems for viruses on a
regular basis. Never disable antivirus software and check frequently with
your software provider for virus updates.
- Equip your computers with firewalls,
which can be purchased at most computer stores nationwide. Firewalls are
gatekeepers made of hardware and/or software that protect a computer
network by shutting out unauthorized people and letting others go only to
the areas they have privileges to use.
Firewalls should be installed at every point where the computer system
comes in contact with other networks - including the Internet, a separate
local area network at a customer's site or a telephone company switch.
And, check to make certain your Internet Service Provider has filters to
help keep out intruders.
- Download and install security
"patches." Most software vendors release updates and patches to
their software to correct bugs that might allow a malicious person to
attach your computer. Check your software vendors' web sites for new
security patches and download and install them on a regular basis. Or you
may choose to use the new automated patching features that perform these
tasks for you.
- Back up your computer data on a
regular basis, at least weekly. Small amounts of data can be backed up on
floppy disks and larger amounts on CDs. If you have access to a network,
save copies of your data on another computer in the network. Make sure
your employees know to do weekly backups of all their important data.
- Regularly check for suspicious
activity. Almost all firewalls, encryption programs and password schemes
include an auditing function that records activities on the network.
Businesses should regularly check logging data and audit trails to look
for unusual or suspicious activity.
- Be aware of file-sharing risks. Your
computer operating system may allow other computers on a network,
including the Internet, to access the hard-drive of your computer in order
to "share files." This can lead to virus invasions or
competitors being able to look at the files on your computer. Unless you
really need this ability, turn off the file sharing. At the very least, do
not share access to your computer with strangers!
- Educate your employees. Develop and
enforce a company-wide computer and physical security policy, one that
instructs employees: not to open e-mail from unknown sources, what to do
when they receive suspicious e-mails (when in doubt, delete!), to
disconnect from the Internet when not online, to consider the risks of
file-sharing, how to perform data back-up procedures and actions to take
if their computer becomes infected. Brief employees and management
regularly on these policies, new security threats, corrective measures and
incident reporting procedures.
- In addition, many businesses might
want to consider purchasing encryption software. Even if an intruder
manages to break through a firewall, the data on a network can be made
safe if it is encrypted. You can purchase stand-alone encryption packages
to work with individual applications, in addition to the good encryption
software that is in the public domain.
This report is
general in nature and not intended as a reliability report on any company,
service or product.