Web browsers—and related plug-ins—are primary tools for interacting with the Internet, making them prime targets for cyber attacks. It is important to understand the risks and know what steps you can take to help minimize the likelihood of a successful attack.
Keep in mind that mobile devices also utilize web browsers. As the use of mobile devices increases, these devices may also become targets of browser-based attacks.
Cyber attackers are constantly searching for and finding programming errors and other flaws in web browsers and associated plug-ins. These vulnerabilities can be exploited, giving cyber criminals access to—and sometimes control over—your computer system.
Browser-based attacks can also originate from websites due to poor security coding of web applications or vulnerabilities in the software that supports websites. Attackers have been successful in compromising large numbers of trusted websites to deliver malicious applications to unsuspecting visitors. Attackers are then able to add scripts to a compromised website so that the website’s appearance does not change. These scripts may “silently” redirect you to another website without you even knowing about it. This redirection to another website may cause malicious programs to be downloaded to your computer. These programs are often designed to allow remote control of your computer by the attacker and to capture personal and confidential information such as credit card numbers, banking information and other data used for identify theft.
The information provided in the Monthly Security Tips Newsletters is intended to increase the security awareness of an organization’s end users and to help them behave in a more secure manner within their work environment. While some of the tips may relate to maintaining a home computer, the increased awareness is intended to help improve the organization’s overall cyber security posture. This is especially critical if employees access their work network from their home computer. Organizations have permission and are encouraged to brand and redistribute this newsletter in whole for educational, non-commercial purposes.
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