Virtually clean: Putting a stop to online infection

Hacking used to be done by kids for kicks or bragging rights. Nowadays, it’s big business for organised crime, often out of reach of the law, on the far side of the world. Connect an unprotected personal computer to the internet for more than 15 seconds and it will almost certainly be attacked by a virus or worse. That’s how ruthlessly effective the army of malicious robots, dispatched by criminals to scour the net for vulnerable computers, has become.Security firms reckon some 2.3m “bots” are currently on the prowl. While suppliers of anti-virus (A-V) software have every reason to magnify the claim, the fact remains that only four out of five computers connected to the internet have A-V software installed. And less than half those have their software bang up to date.

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