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That is a question that in some variation you have all asked, that is good. Telling yourself your unimportant  in some variation and at lesser threat, that my friends is not so good. I do believe this link is posted in another thread, but I decided it needs to be highlighted, right here at the top for new visitors to this forum so it catches their eye and they hopefully come to understand that regardless of who you are: Hackers ARE interested in YOU!

As well as you grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings, and children who have computers. So get your PC squared away and then start working on them and help them protect themselves. This article is about why they want your computer, but alot of it is the same for your mobile devices and in some cases even your IoT (Internet of Things) devides like smart TV's and gaming systems with Online access. Your data is valuable, from identitiy theft to selling your data and movements to advertisers. Your email has its own value as I will show in another article. Regardless of who you are or who you think you are not. You are still a target!

The Scrap Value of a Hacked PC, Revisited



The project was designed to explain simply and visually to the sort of computer user who can’t begin to fathom why miscreants would want to hack into his PC. “I don’t bank online, I don’t store sensitive information on my machine! I only use it to check email. What could hackers possibly want with this hunk of junk?,” are all common refrains from this type of user.


One of the ideas I tried to get across with this image is that nearly every aspect of a hacked computer and a user’s online life can be and has been commoditized. 


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Here is another example, by getting into your PC they can add you to a BotNet. The botnets can then be used to attack other sites in DDOS attacks or as in this example, use your PC to fake visits to advertising and make themselves money.

Video Ad Fraud Botnet Bags Up to $1.3 Million Daily



The fraud is being driven by a botnet called HyphBot that's composed of at least 500,000 Windows PCs in the United States that are running Google's Chrome browser and which have been infected with malware, says Copenhagen-based Adform. HyphBot bots force the PCs to visit bogus websites where legitimate ads have been placed, artificially inflating viewership figures.


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The Bot is not on your system, you can simply be infected with any one of dozens of virus', or malware. Those then "Call Home" to a control server. When the person in control sends out instructions it is passed from the control server to the malware which takes over your computer and carries out the instructions. Your computer, along with thousands or millions more "Zombie" machines like yours are what makes up the "Bot". The Bot is not on your machine, your machine is a part of the Bot.

Now we do say take over your machine, but we are not talking about watching windows change without you doing anything, in most cases you can be on the machine working and not even know someone else is using it as well. You could be surfing Killersites and malware is contacting websites in the background without your knowing it.

There are many ways to protect yourself, but their is no surefire way, no 100% security. Anti-virus is still good to have and kept up to date, just remember that AV works with known signatures of known malware etc., it will not stop new stuff that is not known yet.

So along with AV you need a good firewall. Firewalls can be a pain with their pop-up windows and take patience to learn what is OK and what is not. But once you have your firewall tweaked to what you use, it will stop anything from leaving your network that you do no approve of. It will help stop that malware from calling out to it's control server. Put you must simply accept some pop-ups as the cost of security. You will also break some things, so find out what wants to leave your network, ID it, and allow things until what was broken is OK. It gets irritating, but blocking everything, and then allowing what needs to get out is better than everything getting out.

There are also some good add-ons if you use Firefox. A simple one is "NoScript". NoScript will block everything from running on your browser. Once again, you accept it takes time to tweak it to your needs. Block everything, each site you go to, allow the base site like Killersites.com. If something is still broken go in and temporarily allow each script at a time to see if it fixes the site. When one does, allow it permanently until the site works fine and leave all other scripts etc. blocked.

If you use Chrome, it is already fairly secure as it uses a sandbox technique to keep things from running. It is just crap if you like your privacy.

Also use other tools like MalwareBytes to scan your PC along with your AV. You can also use online scanners occasionally as some malware attacks the AV first.

Just keep in mind:

  • Trust nothing, no open permissions
  • Let nothing leave your network without your approval so malware can't simply call home
  • AV is good but far from full-proof, use multiple tools to check your system
  • Keep all your applications and your operating system patched and up-to-date
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