Beladen: 40,000 Website Attackers - Effects
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The nature of the Beladen attack is two fold. The first of its victims is the webmasters of the websites that were initially infected. While it is still unknown how Beladen gained access to these web servers, the result is the same. Each of these 40,000 websites will now have to deal with the reputation that it is a distributor of malware on the Internet.
This bad reputation is much worse than it initially sounds. Not only do users who are wary of the websites avoid them, but also search engines such as Google tag the websites as hosts for malicious attacks. Traffic to these websites, many of which are for small businesses or government agencies, is very deeply negatively impacted.
Even worse damage is done to the countless visitors to these 40,000 websites. While not all users are negatively affected, there is no doubt a significant number that have gone through great hassles. Anyone who became infected would, at the least, have to fight off any infection. If the infection was bad enough or the user did not have sufficient technology knowledge, they might end up spending money to have a professional attempt to repair their computer.
Cyber attacks such as Beladen also have a significant effect on the faith that many average users put in the Internet. If a typical user becomes infected due to an attack like this, they are not as likely to operate freely on the Internet in the future. These damages are far-reaching and long-lasting, placing a strain on the technological development of the world.
Notably, there is no effect to certain users. Specifically, any user on a Mac operating system is safe from this infection. Likewise, users of many Unix and Linux distributions need not be concerned either. Evidence also suggests that the infection only targets the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. Users that use anything else may be safe from the infection.
Fortunately, even for those that are vulnerable, the chance of infection is quite low. While it is not clear when the infection first started, it lasted for significantly less than a month. During the entire month of May, approximately only .03% of all Internet users visited any of the 40,000 infected websites.
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