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Phishers & Spammers Using Beijing Olympics to Compromise Systems

According to a press statement by a Symantec Spokesman, the Beijing Olympics are a major event of 2008 and spammers and hackers are likely to use it a big opportunity to take over computers of unwary users, as reported by BBC NEWS on August 9, 2008.

Through this press statement, Symantec issued a warning to Internet users asking them to avoid e-mails or links from unknown senders as they might contain malware that could jeopardize the security of their PCs. The malware is likely to appear as medals tally.

Acknowledging Symantec's statement, Trend Micro also urged end-users to be on guard of their online security. The company said that the sport games could encourage attacks against Websites associated with the games to hijack them. Subsequently, these sites could be used to attack end-users interested in getting the latest news about the gala event. In other words the attacks could turn out to be phishers' assaults.

And while Trend Micro and Symantec described the Beijing Olympics a scope for spammers', phishers' and malware writers' activities, security firm MessageLabs tried to shift Internet surfers attention towards the situation where their own safety is in danger during the event.

The security company said that it had witnessed a campaign that sent electronic mails appear as crafted by the International Olympic Committee. The messages targeted members of the country's sporting organizations or those who help in training of sports people. The fake e-mails carried booby-trapped Adobe PDF, if loaded steals information from a computer. A vast number of threats against computers' security, exploiting the Olympic theme and targeting to users of Windows systems, says MessageLabs.

Further, according to Marshal, another security company, a number of the malevolent e-mails appeared lately were originated from the Rustock botnet. The last batch seemed to relate to captions on CNN. It warned that users clicking on them would be led to a phony CNN video and encourage to load a codec to view the video; thereby, planting the Rustock worm and adding their PCs to the botnet.

Related article: Phishers Expand Their Sphere of Attacks

» SPAMfighter News - 8/23/2008

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