The Norman Transcript

Headlines

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
Headlines
  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014

  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Rebels release train with bodies from jet

    HRABOVE, Ukraine — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gaza death toll passes 560

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza’s Hamas rulers signaled they won’t agree to an unconditional ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Perry sending Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border over the next month to combat what he said Monday were criminals exploiting a surge of children pouring into the U.S. illegally. ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Better weather to aid in fire fight

    SPOKANE, Wash. — Calmer winds and cooler temperatures were allowing firefighters to go on the offensive Monday against a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles of terrain in Washington State and is the largest in ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gay, transgender workers gain U.S. bias protection

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday ordered employment protection for gay and transgender employees who work for the federal government or for companies holding federal contracts, telling advocates he embraced the “irrefutable ...

    July 22, 2014