The Norman Transcript

Business

February 24, 2013

China hacks America:upgrades needed

NORMAN — Recent reports show that a high-powered hacker group called “Comment Crew,” under the control of Unit 61398 of the Peoples Liberation Army of China, has been engaged in a long-term campaign of cyber-attacks against over 120 American companies, as well as United States government and military installations.

These reports coincide with attacks over the past few weeks that have successfully invaded, compromised and infected computer systems at Facebook, Apple Computer, and Twitter. Other attacks have targeted companies ranging from Coca-Cola, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, to oil and gas pipeline companies, military contractors, mining companies, telecommunications corporations, chemical plants, and the United States Departments of State and Defense.

Many of the attacks succeeded through the use of so-called “spear phishing” emails. Spear phishing emails are specially-crafted, legitimate-looking messages using a person’s actual name, company name, and even street address. The messages often contain a website link that, when clicked, infects the user’s computer with nasty software that allows the attacker to control the computer to steal information and attack other computers.

While big-shot corporate executives and top-gun government security agents battle Chinese cyber-spies, you may be wondering, “Hey, what about me? How am I supposed to deal with this?” Those are very good questions. While Ethan Hunt dukes it out with Unit 61398, what are regular mom-and-pop computer users supposed to do in the mean time?

Most computer attacks and viruses work by exploiting flaws that exist in programs we use every day. The primary way to protect your computer is through software updates and upgrades that repair the flaws the bad guys attack.

One program flaw the Chinese super-spies used to hack into computer networks is in Java. Java is a programming language used on thousands of websites. We have Java on our computers so we can use and interact with these websites. New flaws are found in Java all the time, and need to be fixed. If you do not install Java updates, your computer is a sitting duck.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business
  • Candy Basket celebrates 25 years

    Perhaps it’s the chocolate covered blueberries whose deliciousness still lingers. Or maybe it’s the blood orange and wild honey white chocolate ganache that won’t soon be forgotten by your taste buds. At The Candy Basket there is decadence ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Bramlett & Associates adopts new name reflective of business

    Bramlett & Associates Multimedia LLC (Bramlett Multimedia), 215 W. Main St., announced this month that the company will change its name after 12 years in business and will do business as BOLD-Multimedia. The announcement, made first to ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Toothpick holders convention coming to Norman

    Lynne Ryan has been collecting toothpick holders her entire life. “My parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. ‘Bud’ Gibbs started our collection in 1936,” Ryan said. Ryan was born in 1940, and she grew up crawling around toothpick holders, as have ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Protect your online banking, shopping with encryption

    In my free, one-night class called “Fight the Internet Bad Guys and Win,” I teach everyday computer users how to stay out of trouble on the Internet. How to avoid virus infections, how to discern between the genuine and counterfeit, and ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tourism in Okla. creates $17.2 M in economic benefit

    A new National Park Service report shows that the 1,108,103 visitors to Oklahoma’s national parks in 2013 spent $17.2 million and supported 176 jobs in the state. Oklahoma’s three national parks include: Washita Battlefield National ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Norman United Wayboard gets to work

    The United Way of Norman Board of Directors for 2014-15 has met for the first time. Leading the group as chair was Steve McDaniel of Oklahoma State Bank....

    July 20, 2014

  • Family tragedy opened one woman’s eyes to the need of the disabled

    Jean Bayles had a dream. The dream was to provide a fully accessible home for rent in Norman. Her brother, Terry Abbott, was injured when he was 15 and has been a quadriplegic since....

    July 13, 2014

  • HeyDay brings Boomerang back to Norman

    Boomerang Grille was a family-oriented, iconic restaurant for many Norman residents for many years. Few are the people who have not slid into those vinyl seated booths, picked up the red phone and ordered a Theta burger and onion rings or ...

    July 13, 2014

  • Residents serve Leadership board

    Four Norman residents are serving on the board of Leadership Oklahoma....

    July 6, 2014

  • Bellhops offer moving help to Norman

    Founders Cameron Doody and Stephen Vlahos launched Bellhops at Auburn University in 2011. “Our first year, we set a goal of 25 moves, and after three days we had moved 230 students during the college move in season.” Doody said. “That’s ...

    July 6, 2014