Threats to Information Security

Risks to information security include malicious programs (including viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, adware and rogue diallers) and hackers.

The words Trojan, worm and virus are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. They are all malicious programs (sometimes called “malware”) that can harm your computer, but there are important differences among them, as we will see shortly.

At one time, the term hacker was used to describe someone who was held in respect by other programmers and software developers because of their original and ingenious approaches to solving computer problems.

However, today the popular meaning of the term hacker is a person who breaks into systems, deletes and steals data and carries out many other illegal and destructive acts against networks and computers. People who did this were originally called crackers, but nowadays the term is seldom used.

A hacker makes use of specialised software tools to break into computer systems that they have no authorisation for.

Next: Viruses