Once a victim's computer is infected, it can be used to carry out malicious attacks on computer servers, infect other computers and steal the victim's personal information.
Malicious programs like viruses, spyware, and Trojan horses propagate when someone opens an infected e-mail attachment, downloads a malicious program or visits a website which is set up to take advantage of unpatched exploits in the user's computer operating system. One of the popular exploits is called “drive-by-download" or “drive-by”, which can infect someone’s computer by just visiting a website set up to do this.
There is another attack which does not involve a malicious program, but instead, tricks a user into entering their username, password, personal or credit card information on a fake website masquerading as a legitimate one. The links to these fake websites are sent in e-mails, text messages and posted on social networking websites. This type of threat is called Phishing and is used by scammers to lure victims to these websites, by using very attractive photos, offering ridiculous offers on almost everything and by other means.
With the ever-increasing number of people going online, scammers and hackers are finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities. Check OnlineThreatAlerts.com daily for the latest online threats.
For more information about online / web threats, please go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_threat .