March 2011

WARNING Unwanted Software

Like the rest of the world, Bolivia is facing the threats of computerviruses, which only grow as we use the Internet more and more. And the words cyber crimes are becoming a very well-known term among internet users.

Arnold Brower
Director Programa Huertos

Even though we know that the possibility of catching a software virus is a constant threat, every time a new virus threat emerges, it makes us think about why someone finds it interesting or fun to communicate this way. The truth is that viruses are not just made for fun, but by cybercriminals who by cheating people can earn good money.

We constantly upgrade our firewalls to prevent these uninvited guests from entering our personal software. And the firewall industry is also in constant growth, trying to keep up with the new sorts of cybercrimes. The truth is that no firewall is a 100% safe, and according to NORTON, a worldwide antivirus company, is it only a few firewalls that are capable of keeping most of the virus-attacks away, because our firewalls are designed to keep away current viruses and threats but not the ones that are being created as you read these lines.

The virus-makers are becoming more and more sophisticated; they filter the internet and find the sites with a lot of users. And it is not a secret that one of the biggest threats currently is the big international socialnetwork-sites like Facebook. Facebook includes more than 600 million active users of which about 770.000 users are from Bolivia. Facebook is up for a huge amount of the virus threats, because we according to antivirus company Sophos are way too comfortable with receiving and viewing images.

When we receive a notification from a friend on Facebook, telling us that we have been tagged in a video or maybe a picture, most of us are curios to look, we simply have to see what picture that can possible be that funny or embarrassing. We hit the link not thinking about any viruses because the link was sent to us from a friend, a person we know. And then the attackers are in. Suddenly these strangers have access to a huge amount of personal information. If you have purchased goods online, the cybercriminals can gain access to your bank information and within a short amount of time ruin you. They can provide access to your e-mail and to your computer history, finding information about your internet use, and you will probably receive advertising and spam e-mails to entice you to check out a particular website containing a huge amount of other viruses, that in worst case can erase important files and software from your computer. The attackers use simple trick-sentences like ‘you can win 1 million dollars’ or ‘get this and this free of charge’ only to entice you to visit their web-page. Once the attackers are in your software – whey start finding their way to your friends and gain access to their software.

It is often difficult to find the masterminds behind these viruses since the Internet is so huge, your attacker is not necessarily from your own country, and the investigations often has to cross boarders and laws. But the cybercriminals are still up for quite a big punishment, according to cybercriminals in the European Union, can get punished with up to 5 years in prison. While in South America no laws about cybercrimes has been made because the phenomenon still is very new. But none the less there is a reason to worry, because South- and Latin America is already a very active region for cybercriminals according to IDG CONNECT. And the weak government regulations do not help, the South American countries needs a law that can keep the virus threat on a distance. Which is why Dr José Rafael Vargas, president of The Dominican Republic Institution Of Telecommunications, is suggesting that the cybercriminals are punished with 2 – 5 years of prison as well as a fine. The suggestion has in the moment of writing not been approved

INFO:Cybercrimes covers software-viruses, credit card fraud and stealing of identity. 65% of all internet users around the world have been exposed to cybercrimes. (NORTON) On you can find information on how to clean your Facebook profile.

The Cochabamba
Conservatory of Music

The Conservatory of Music in Cochabamba was created by musician Teófilo Vargas in 1907. It was one of the most important institutions at the beginning of the 20th century in the city, founded before the National Conservatory of Music (La Paz, 1908). The information regarding this conservatory can be found in the School of Music (Escuela Musical) which was organized by Vargas in his own home in 1894 and was refounded in 1905 as the Cochabamba Conservatory of Music.

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