How Did They Take Over My Computer?

Keyboard - Enter key replace with a RED HELP Key

Keyboard – Enter key replace with a RED HELP Key

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.



About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

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