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It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the next war might be fought on virtual battlefields as opposed to physical ones. Today, the White House revealed that government servers had recently experienced a concentrated hacking attack from China. Frighteningly enough, the affected servers included ones used by the military for nuclear commands.
According to a blog called Free Beacon, the attacks took place early last month. In spite of government reports that say otherwise, Free Beacon reports that the White House’s inner servers were affected by the attack.
The hackers used a method called ‘spear phishing’. Using this method, a computer on the network receives an email loaded with malicious code. The code is often found in an attachment, like a .pdf document or an Excel file. Apparently, a White House staffer opened the file on a computer inside the building, after which the computer’s security was compromised.
The American government maintains that the hacked computer was immediately isolated from the network, which means no information was stolen during the attack. It also claims that nuclear servers were not affected.
Are attacks like this common?
Government institutions like the White House face repeated attacks from hackers. The attempted hacking of all US military networks is common, although the success rate of these attacks is very small. However, some are saying that the rate of attacks has increased over the past two years, with most of those attacks coming from China.
Along with attacking the government, Chinese hackers are reportedly attacking American businesses in pursuit of intellectual property and corporate secrets. Even businesses with the best network security have trouble protecting their systems from an employee who opens an email, and that’s exactly what spear phishing attacks are so dangerous.
How to protect yourself
Whether you’re at work or at home, you should always avoid opening strange attachments in emails. Today, most viruses are spread over the internet, and many viruses are spread through email attachments. With attack rates increasing across the world, you should never trust a random attachment that somebody sends you over the internet.
You should also make sure to have good antivirus software installed and updated on your computer at all times. If you don’t want to invest in good antivirus software, then try out a program like PC Cleaner Pro. PC Cleaner Pro offers the convenience and effectiveness of antivirus software without the high price. Try it out for free today!