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India to See Surge in Spam During Festival Time

According to a news from ITExaminer published on October 13, 2008, cyber-security experts predict nearly 20% growth in spam mails in India around Diwali, as spammers will try to take advantage of the festival time and flood inboxes with their messages embedded with keyloggers, trojans and other malicious software.

Further, according to the security experts, in the recent past, spammers have exploited users' interest in events like the Beijing Olympics and the US Presidential election to attract innocent e-mail users. The same spammers have also been cashing in on festivals like Christmas. Cyber-crooks are applying the same tactic to make money.

Mr. Kartik Shahani, Regional Director for India and SAARC, McAfee Inc., said that spammers would find the festival season beneficial, as online users are less suspicious while clicking on any e-mail message even from a stranger during this time. Also, given that people generally inclined to shop during this time as well as look for the best offers, the internet shoppers tend to open e-mails that promises freebies and discounts. In the process, spammers pack malware to their e-mails by adorning them with a greeting or discount tag, attracting recipients to click which in reality result in unleashing of a computer virus on their system, as reported by ITExaminer on October 13, 2008.

Further, Vice President of India Product Operations Symantec Software, Mr. Shantanu Ghosh, said that clicking on such messages or loading attachments that arrive with these e-mails could trigger viruses, enabling hackers to gain access to users' private information like credit card or sensitive bank account details, as reported by BusinessLine on October 13, 2008.

Mr. Ghosh further stated that as India ranks sixth on the top ten list of the worst spam producing countries worldwide, the above described situation would certainly become a delight for spammers during the festival season.

Additionally, to protect the computer and the data stored on it, security experts advise internet users not to click on attachment in messages that look suspicious or are from unknown senders. Furthermore, they should not only load security program but also keep it up-to-date on a regular basis.

Related article: India Remains an Easy Target for Hackers in '06

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