Malicious hardware may be next hacker tool

May 1, 2008 – 7:43 AM

As if computer viruses and worms aren’t enough of a nuisance, malicious hardware, which will be much more difficult to detect, could soon become a threat too.

Today, computer viruses, which are programs downloaded either as an email attachment or when someone visits a website, are responsible for most computer attacks. Hackers use them to gain control of a computer so that they can press-gang it into sending spam or downloading more malicious software, such as a keystroke logger, which can record credit card details and passwords typed in by the user.

Anti-virus (AV) software monitors a computer for signs of a virus, such as chunks of telltale code. To fight back, hackers write new viruses that use different code, or bury the code deeper in the operating system where the AV software isn’t programmed to look.

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