I know a lot of arrogant geeks. They think they’re never going to get hit by malware because they are so technically savvy, and they will never let themselves be in harm’s way. They are wrong.
Similarly, I know a lot of arrogant computer users, geeks or not. They include the legions of Apple users who think that the company’s OS X operating system is magically better than the major alternative. They include the people who have bought into similar marketing from Microsoft about Vista being the most secure operating system ever.
Such people believe what the bad guys would have them believe!
Let’s look at common ways to get “0wned,” and we’ll see that in some cases, it’s a lot easier than most people would expect.
First, getting “0wned” can generally mean one of several things. It might mean you end up with bad software (malware—short for “malicious software”) installed on your computer. Or, it might mean that your online banking details go out the door to a stranger, whether or not you end up with malware on your machine.
Let’s start with infections (installs of malicious software). One particularly common way to get infected with malware is to install it yourself. You might click on a link in an email message, thinking it’s a legitimate URL when it isn’t. Or you might download an application off the Internet that you think is legitimate, when in fact it is malware.
There are lots of deception techniques to try to make people download ...