blind_html [Fwd: BAH Caution Netbook Users,They May Be Offering Hackers A Private Gateway Into Your Data]

  • From: Nimer <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 04 Mar 2009 09:59:39 -0700

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: BAH Caution Netbook Users,They May Be Offering Hackers A Private Gateway Into Your Data
Date:   Wed, 4 Mar 2009 11:48:42 -0500
From:   Lisa <whitedove621@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To:       blindAccessHelp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To:     <blindAccessHelp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

> If you own a Netbook or are thinking about getting one, you want to be
> aware of this.
> TAIPEI (Reuters) - Netbook Web surfers beware. That low-cost netbook
> you're using
> could be a high-speed gateway into your life, bank accounts, passwords and
> other
> personal data.
> Netbooks have made headlines since their 2007 launch, making PCs
> accessible to millions
> of non-traditional users. But their cheap cost could also carry a steep
> price tag
> due to lax security that makes them easier prey for viruses and hackers.
> Since their introduction less than two years ago by Taiwan's Asustek,
> nearly all
> major PC makers, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Acer and Lenovo, have
> jumped on
> the netbook bandwagon.
> But their no frills nature, combined with low computing power and relative
> lack of
> sophistication among their users could combine to create the perfect storm
> for hackers
> and virus creators looking for easy targets, analysts say.
> "The Internet is full of dangers, regardless of what computer you are
> using," said
> Sam Yen, greater China marketing manager at anti-virus software maker
> Symantec.
> "But keeping in mind that the netbook is primarily used to surf the
> Internet, those
> dangers are possibly multiplied many-fold, especially if there is no
> anti-virus software
> installed in the machine."
> Price tags as low as $300 mean that netbooks often lack such standard gear
> as firewalls
> and other anti-virus software typically found in other computers, leaving
> them highly
> vulnerable to attacks.
> "Frankly, netbook security is not there yet," said Pranab Sarmah, an
> analyst at the
> Daiwa Institute of Research.
> "The positioning of the netbook means PC brands are going to do whatever
> it takes
> to make the price point attractive to consumers, which means keeping costs
> low."
> Many netbook users are relative Internet newcomers, and may not be aware
> of precautions
> they can take to protect themselves. Low computing power also means savvy
> netbook
> users may shut down critical security programs to boost speed.
> "It's a Catch-22 situation," said Gartner analyst Lillian Tay. "If you're
> running
> too many security programs at the same time, it slows the computer down.
> Don't run
> any, and you are at risk."
> Netbooks were a glimmer of light in the tech sector last year, and IDC
> research firm
> says they could dramatically outperform the overall PC market in 2009. It
> forecasts
> netbook shipments will more than double to nearly 21 million units this
> year, compared
> with about 4 percent growth to 305 million units for all PCs.
> Netbook pioneer Asustek believes its models already include built-in
> security features
> and other options that are sufficient for the typical user, said Samson
> Hu, who runs
> the company's netbook operations.
> "We've got a tie-up with Symantec where users who want to can pay a little
> more for
> that additional security," he said.
> "We've received lots of good feedback from users, but of course, everyone
> should
> be aware of Internet security issues when they are connected to any
> network."
> Some experts say netbooks' inability to run effective security could crimp
> future
> growth, scaring away lucrative corporate users who regularly deal with
> sensitive
> data. Corporate buyers now account for more than half of all PC sales.
> "For most companies, they'll still choose conventional laptops that allow
> them to
> run software that protects the information hidden inside it," said Eric
> Ashdown,
> senior director for security strategy and risk management at Accenture.
> "If I'm somebody doing corporate IT work, I wouldn't be looking at
> netbooks as a
> viable option. I would need more security, which they can't offer right
> now."
> But Ashdown also pointed out that netbooks could be protected by the types
> of customers
> that buy them, casual users who tend to store less valuable information on
> their
> computers.
> "Most attacks go to where the data is, where the economic value is," said
> Accenture's
> Ashdown. "If I were a hacker, I'm not sure I would go for netbooks. What
> would I
> find there? Family photos?"

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