Hacking is sometimes considered to be a victimless crime. If criminals manage to steal your credit card details, or break into your bank account, you may be insured against the loss.
Eventually someone has to pay for those losses though, usually the victim in the form of increased charges or insurance premiums – there is always a victim. But sometimes hacking can have serious physical consequences too.
Burned by his computer
A British man from Sheffield recently reported an incident where he was physically burned by his computer. When his computer crashed unexpectedly, he reached inside burning his hand in the process.
Certain computer components do get warm with use, but under normal circumstances even a gaming PC should not be able to burn someone. But this was no normal activity.
Further investigation revealed that the PC had been infected with cryptojacking malware. This converted the computer into a “crypto miner”, running intensive decryption routines to make money for the hackers.
Cryptojacking malware forces the infected computer to run at full power. Components like the CPU and graphics card will be placed under strain, causing them to become very hot – and potentially shut down unexpectedly as reported by the burnt man.
Fortunately the victim recovered without sustaining serious injury – but not everyone is so lucky.
When the WannaCry virus began spreading across the world, several high-profile businesses were badly affected. Replicating uncontrollably, the ransomware also infected IT systems at a number of hospitals in the UK.
The infections were so bad that some hospitals were forced to cancel important operations, placing patients’ lives at risk. It is still unclear how many seriously ill people were affected – or how many later died because of delays caused by the malware.
As we have noted many times on the Panda Security blog, cybercriminals are using the COVID-19 pandemic as cover to launch all kinds of attacks. As well as regular phishing scams, organised gangs are targeting hospitals with ransomware attacks.
Again, these IT systems are critical to operations – any disruption can literally cause the deaths of patients waiting treatment in hospital.
Antimalware protects more than personal data
Often when we talk about antimalware protection, we framed the story in terms of securing personal data, preventing theft by hackers. But as you can see, hackers pose a genuine risk to your health.
Installing antimalware software is an important step towards keeping you and your family safe and well. As well as protecting yourselves, security software also prevents your computer from being used in advanced attacks using botnets.
Download a free trial of Panda Dome today and you can play an important part in saving lives.