What’s one of the latest, anxiety-inducing threats to jeopardize our online security?

That would have to be MouseJack takeovers.

Hackers have figured out a way to hijack computers by connecting to a wireless, non-Bluetooth mouse or keypad via radio frequency signals.  As a result, these cyber-criminals gain unrestricted access to your computer, hardware, and network.

From passwords and account numbers to sensitive files and private emails – the consequences of a MouseJack takeover could be devastating.  Here are just a few of the reasons this security threat is causing quite a bit of alarm.

It’s insanely easy.

Equipped with an inexpensive dongle and positioned within 100 meters of a machine, hackers can quickly connect to the targeted device with the help of radio frequency signals. That’s all it takes. Your computer’s dongle is tricked into thinking the transmission is coming from your wireless device, but in reality, it’s coming from the hacker’s dongle.

The attack is very fast.

Once the hacker’s dongle is connected (which again is extremely easy) it only takes a couple of minutes for the attack to play out successfully.  The hacker sends malicious code through the wireless device which then installs malware on your computer, thereby threatening your entire network in the process.  At this point, a hacker can steal, damage, or kidnap whatever they want.

This can all happen so quickly that the majority of victims won’t even realize they’ve been hacked, and with potentially billions of devices vulnerable to this attack, it may have already happened to you.

Most brands aren’t protected.

Several wireless device vendors are flawed when it comes to securing the radio frequency transmission that allows them to work sans Bluetooth. While some are encrypted, all the others are vulnerable to force pairing a fake keyboard or mouse that can easily infect computers with malicious software. Among the affected devices are Microsoft, Logitech, Dell, and HP.

The best way to protect yourself against this new threat is to purchase an encrypted device. Or better yet, use a wired mouse and keypad.