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Small Businesses Potential Target Of Cyber Criminals

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 2/24/2010

Small businesses are seen as extremely vulnerable targets for cyber fraud, malware and malicious online activities.

The recent news of cyber attacks on major companies like Google and the more than 2,000 corporations affected by the Kneber botnet did not affect the small business world much. However, PC World reported Tuesday that these developments may be bad news for small businesses.

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Since most attacks are not targeted at any specific computer or network, any organization with a computer has the potential to become infected with a dangerous computer virus. Newer viruses are harder to detect and can steal information ranging from social media log-in information to credit card numbers.

"Many attacks aren't targeted at all, but are the result of self-selection. That is, the attacker casts a wide net by sending thousands of messages to a harvested list of email addresses, and the ones that respond - either by clicking a link or via a ping-back embedded image in the email - are the self-selected targets to pursue," according to PC World.

Targeted attacks, however, are often aimed at small businesses. Social networking tools, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, can provide cyber criminals detailed company directories and contact information that can be used to transmit harmful malware.

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