What is Debugging?

What is Debugging?

If you haven’t heard of ransomware, you will soon enough. So far in 2019, 621 entities — an assortment of businesses, hospitals, school districts, and cities — have been affected, at an estimated cost of $186 million thus far; factor in individuals who have fallen victim and the toll is likely much higher still. And ransomware is only one of the many threats in an increasingly hostile information environment; spyware, worms, viruses, and a host of other malware runs an already-high tab higher still, thanks to lost time, productivity, and revenue. Computer debugging countermeasures from Barefoot Professional Investigations are a vital line of defense.

What Debugging Is (and is Not)
There is another common definition of debugging that is not germane to the work Barefoot Professional Investigations performs for Charlotte businesses and individuals. In its original sense, a computer bug referred to a glitch in circuitry or programming that caused errors; in that sense, debugging is simply remedying the code or mechanical issue that’s causing you difficulties.

While that’s a vexing problem for programmers and users, our concern is with bugs of another sort. The bugs we deal with are the ones maliciously installed on your system to eavesdrop, gain access to sensitive information, or to alter files or records. 

Forms of Computer Bugging
As computers have become more powerful and sophisticated, so too have the tools employed by cybercriminals and those who would defend against them. The tools of the hacker’s trade are varied.

Ransomware: Ransomware can encrypt or lock down your system, and draws its name from the fact that its users often extort money from their targets to restore files, or to return a computer or server to working order
Signals Intercepts: Data can be taken from your LAN or Wi-Fi by means of locally installed snooping devices, or may be monitored remotely by something as simple as a laptop with the right software
Malware takes many forms, including adware (the most common), keystroke loggers, and snippets of code that can give hackers access to your root directory or individual files

How to Know if You’ve Been Targeted
Some signs of a hack can be obvious; ransomware, for instance, often comes with what amounts to a ransom note. Other signs are far more subtle, and can seem like symptoms of aging hardware or an outdated OS, such as slow performance or frequent system crashes. In other cases, it takes a sharp eye to identify signs like high CPU usage when there are few programs open, programs that startup when you boot your computer, frequent pop ups, or changes to things like email, social media, or websites that are normally password-protected. These won’t always be signs of a hack, but it’s best to be on the safe side.

Eradicating Computer Bugs via TSCM
A bit of common sense can provide a lot of protection. It begins with a robust and trustworthy antivirus, good wireless security, frequent password changes, and extra care taken before visiting websites, downloading applications, or clicking the links in emails. 

However, it’s entirely possible for things to go very wrong even when you’ve done everything right. When that happens, your best bet is an organization like Barefoot Professional Investigations; we have been licensed for more than 25 years in Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM), signifying that we have the tools and knowledge to deal with a wide variety of electronic eavesdropping threats. Our debugging services can also be undertaken in tandem with computer forensics in the event that the evidence uncovered needs to be used in a criminal case. For a confidential debugging and electronic countermeasures consultation, contact us today.