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May 24, 2011

Password Reset Software Essential to Battle Social Engineering Attacks

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor


As much as we use the Internet for important things like communication, searching for information and conducting business, there are also a lot of risks waiting for us online. One of these risks includes social engineering attacks which aim to trick users into clicking on a link or downloading a malicious program. The good news is that a number of malware programs in place can protect the user, while password reset software can provide added protection if the user’s information has been compromised. 

According to Microsoft (News - Alert), quoted in this recent eWeek report, these attacks are much more common than attacks designed to exploit security vulnerabilities in software.

Password reset software is an essential tool to have in place for account recovery when your system is attacked. And, given the proliferation of attempts throughout trusted platforms, nearly every user is bound to render their system vulnerable. Social engineering attacks are bound to continue to become more prevalent, especially if they are successful. Leverage a password reset software platform and you can rest assured that your information is fully protected.

Jerry Bryant, group manager of response communications for Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group, told Information Week that he has seen a polarization of criminal behavior in the marketplace. Criminals that are targeting users online are both highly sophisticated and highly skilled. They are creating exploits as they go after high-value targets. To achieve success, these criminals are relying on special intelligence, customized social engineering and zero-day attacks. 

Not sure you or your company needs to invest in password reset software? It may be time to consider data gathered by Microsoft from more than 600 million Windows users throughout the world. The company found that rogue security software existed on – and was blocked from – nearly 19 million machines. This finding shows that the criminal attempts are real and that they are not backing down. 

Passwords are also at risk, as demonstrated in this Wired report. An exploit allowed hackers to change account passwords on Sony’s restored PlayStation Network. While it would seem such a brand would offer tight integration and security, Neleveia.com, a gaming website, discovered that hackers could easily change any account password within the platform by simply entering the e-mail address and birth date of the user. 

While many of us may spend time trying to determine why hackers and malicious individual want to exploit our information, it is more important to focus time and efforts on preventing the activity. Protections such as password reset software can help to protect your system and your users to ensure your data or sensitive information does not fall into the wrong hands.


Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein