Computer breaches can happen many ways, but the two most common are stolen credentials, and phishing emails. Credentials, your user name and password, sometimes are stolen from a web server breach, and then sold online on the criminal marketplaces. Or sometimes you are tricked into giving them up on clever fake websites. Phishing is one way that credentials are stolen. The links in phishing emails often will direct the unwary user to the fake web page with the helpful web form. With stolen credentials the attacker can log in as you on your system and pretty much do whatever they want.
But phishing is also one way that malware is delivered to a targeted computer, usually through attachments that appear to be a document of some sort but hide an active malware program that is installed when the attachment is opened. Or the malware is installed from the web page that you went to when you clicked on the link in the phishing email.
How can you tell when your computer has been compromised? This week we will look at the main symptoms.