You know, some day when the real zombies come, we're going to be caught off guard and they'll run rampant before anyone realizes they're not a pack of zany hipsters on yet another themed pup crawl and/or extras on location for the latest CW and/or ABC Family drama, "Lying Gossiping Zombie Girl" ... or, you know. Whatever.
Sophos, a tech security firm, is doing its bit in encouraging passivity toward the coming zombie horde with the launch of its Halloween campaign, Kill-A-Zombie Day.
One might point out that in the event of real zombies, every day is Kill-A-Zombie Day, or if you're not Woody Harrelson, Run-Like-Hell-From-A-Zombie Day. But that detracts from the point of the Sophos campaign —which is actually about zombie computers spamming the world unbeknownst to their users. In fact, your computer could be a zombie RIGHT NOW!
Billions of spam messages are sent every day, with over 99% determined to be relayed from innocent users' computers that have been hijacked and turned into a "zombie."
Hackers control networks of zombie computers, known as a botnet, in order to silently send out adverts that peddle sexual enhancement drugs or questionable financial deals, distribute scareware attacks to trick users out of their credit card details, access your social networking accounts, and spread further malicious attacks.
So what can you do? Shoot your computer through the brain, of course! Then hole up at the mall.
OK, not really. The term "zombie," when used in conjunction with computers, applies to the pre-George Romero zombie of West African lore. That's where zombies do the bidding of their masters, rather than eating the flesh of those who yet live. So an exorcism of sorts is far more cost-effective than shooting out some RAM.
Keeping your computer operating system and programs up-to-date with the latest security patches, running a firewall and, of course, downloading free trial anti-virus software from Sophos (available for PCs and Macs!) are a few of the security firm's suggestions.
Also, it's suggested you "Like" the Sophos page on Facebook to spread the word — which is a good idea as the company is pretty up to date on the latest viruses and scams everyone should know about. Sophos would also greatly appreciate it if you would spread the word to your friends, and tweet on Twitter: http://www.sophos.com/killazombie. I'm joining the fight! International Kill-A-Zombie Day."
More on the annoying way we live now:
- Oxford University on zombie alert
- Ewww! How to punch a hole in your gut with two iPads
- Facebook says 600,000 account logins compromised every day