Regular visitors to this website/blog have read about keystroke logging malware that can be unwittingly downloaded on to your computer when you think you are downloading free music, free games, or are persuaded to click on a link in a tainted email. Once installed on your computer, this type of malware, which is often called a Trojan Horse for obvious reasons, can read everything in your computer that is contained in documents or text. Now, however, a new type of malware is appearing that steals the images that are stored on your computer in formats such as .jpg, .jpeg or .dmp. While you might wonder what problem would be presented by the stealing of your photographs or scans, you should consider what files you do have in such formats. Many people will scan financial documents into their computers, which can provide an identity thief using this type of malware which is called a Pixsteal Trojan, with all of the information he or she needs to make you a victim of serious identity theft. In addition, many people may keep photographs of a private nature on their computer, which, if they fall into the wrong hands can result in blackmail.
You should take the same precautions to avoid Pixsteal Trojans as you do any other Trojan Horse malware. Never click on links unless you are sure that they are not risky. As I always say, trust me, you can’t trust anyone. Even if you get an email or a Facebook message that appears to be from a friend, it may actually be from someone who has hacked into their account so you can’t trust it. And even if it really is from your friend, they may unwittingly be passing on the malware that they unknowingly downloaded on to their own computer and are now passing on to you. Also, maintain your security software up to date on all of your electronic devices including smart phones and other portable devices.