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Why Your Computer Is Valuable to Hackers

A hacker’s desire for your computer likely has nothing to do with you specifically (nice as you are). It’s not just potential access to your financial accounts or the ability to unleash ransomware that makes hackers want to get into your computer. Your computer is valuable to them for its raw computing power and access to the Internet. With control over these two things, the hacker can use your computer and your internet connection to conduct DoS (Denial of Service) attacks, send out floods of e-mails, run scam campaigns, vote for you and others, spy on others and unleash hack attacks. An added benefit of this activity is that it all appears to be coming from you, because your computer has become the hacker’s accomplice.

Of course, that’s not to say they won’t steal your login credentials, financial secrets and other sensitive information as well, and then sell access to your computer on the black market for yet other hackers to exploit. And all of this equally applies to any device you may have connected to the Internet, whether it be a smart TV, IoT thermostat, entertainment/gaming system or internet-capable fridge, as they all have what the hackers want and use: computing power and an internet connection.

Regardless of their reason for getting in, you want to keep the hackers out. To minimize your risk, follow a very simple strategy:

  1. Limit when your computer can connect to the Internet. Keeping your computer internet-accessible around the clock merely increases the time it is available to be compromised, but doesn’t increase its utility for you. Allow your computer to connect to the Internet when you need it to and no more.
  2. Limit where your computer can connect on the Internet. Giving your computer free reign to the Internet provides minimal, if any benefit to you, while increasing the chances it could become infected. Allow your computer to connect to the locations you need to go and no more.
  3. Limit how much data (information) can be transmitted from your computer. Hackers’ control over your computer and their ability to extract information relies on your computer transmitting and receiving data and communications to and from them. By limiting the amount of data that your computer may transmit, you can hinder their ability to control your computer and use it for their nefarious ends.
  4. Separate your computer from the other devices connected your home computer network. Even if you keep your computer safe from infections from the outside, you could have other devices on your home computing network acting as cyber-Trojan horses to infect your computer from inside the network. Limiting or completely blocking access from other devices to your computer is the best way to secure it from “inside jobs.” And why does your TV need to talk to your computer anyway?
  5. Separate your other connected devices from each other. Just like you don’t want your computer to become compromised through your entertainment system, you probably don’t want your other devices to become compromised either. Keeping all of your connected devices digitally separated is the best way to prevent an infection in one device from spreading to other devices on your computer network.

With our LateralAccessDevice you can implement the above strategy with one easy-to-use comprehensive tool.

While you can’t always elude a determined hacker, you can raise the cost for them in terms of time and effort by making it more difficult to get into your computer. Like pirates and pickpockets, most hackers rely on chance and opportunity to ply their dubious trade. Most hackers use the same tools that they got from someone else to find and exploit victims and have little actual experience with computer code. The mythical movie hacker/coder who can whip up a new algorithm on the fly is a far cry from the reality (sorry fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

The more complex you make it for them to be able to get in, the better for you, as they have to deal with their buggy hacking software and don’t want to spend much time on individual potential victims. In fact, the more complex it is for them to get to your computer, the more likely they will run into bugs in their software that they cannot do anything about. They don’t have the skills to fix its bugs and flaws (otherwise they would be doing something else), so they focus on quantity over anything else. Bottom line: don’t be a sitting duck waiting for them to take aim.

LAD: LateralAccessDevice is software that turns a computer chassis into a high-performance, multi-purpose Internet / network tool that combines multi-dimensional firewalling, network monitoring, access control, packet capture, DNS, NAT and a host of other applications into one easy to use, integrated, high-security package. LAD takes you back to before the Internet!