The harm in seemingly harmless files and applications

Author: Katrina Rosseland

The harm in seemingly harmless files and applications

Many of the day to day applications that people use on their computers can be more harmful then they realize. Microsoft Powerpoint has been noticed to have the ability to infect users with malware if given a malicious powerpoint by an attacker.

PPSX is the non-editable format which is used for this type of attack. The malicious file is emailed to the victim and upon it opening, it runs an executable piece of malware. This malware is used to spy on corporations for political reasons. Powerpoint is a seemingly harmless program that has been weaponized along with so many trusted processes that are relied on daily.

Another example of this is the use PNG files to hack android phones. Attackers can hide code inside a PNG photo that is then executed. Google has released patches for this bug since its discovery but regardless it displays that there are major vulnerabilities that exist even in applications or files published by reliable sources. It is imperative to limit the applications, devices and people who you trust with your digital information seeing as even major corporations have undiagnosed security flaws waiting to be discovered and taken advantage of by hackers.

 

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