Every 39 seconds every computer connected to the Internet is attacked.
A study by the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering is one of the first to measure hacker attacks.
“Often they set up ‘back doors’ – undetected entrances into the computer that they control – so they can create “botnets,” for profit or disreputable purposes.” A botnet is a collection of compromised computers that are controlled by autonomous software robots answering to a hacker who manipulates the computers remotely. Botnets can act to perpetrate fraud or identity theft, disrupt other networks, and damage computer files, among other things.
Poor usernames and passwords give attackers more chance of success. They discovered the vast majority of attacks came from relatively unsophisticated hackers using “dictionary scripts,” a type of software that runs through lists of common usernames and passwords attempting to break into a computer.
Use more difficult and less obvious passwords with combinations of upper and lowercase letters and numbers that are not open to brute-force dictionary attacks.