While most malicious software is designed to steal computer users' financial information or identities, a new study from Ben-Gurion University indicates that a new wave of viruses could track and imitate their victims’ actual behavior.
As the researchers note, this is potentially more dangerous, as cybercriminals could use the data to help plan their attacks. "Many social networks collect important user data such as age, occupation and role, personality and more to create a 'rich identity.' With access to such sensitive information, the possibility for significantly more targeted and dangerous attacks is now open," Physorg quotes the report as saying.
Additionally, behavioral attacks have more serious ramifications. Whereas victims can simply change their bank account information or cancel credit cards, it isn't as easy for them to change their networks of friends or behavioral patterns.
Experts maintain that the most effective way for computer users to protect themselves from hackers is to keep their antivirus definitions up to date. They should also avoid clicking suspicious links or downloading strange files.
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