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News Search on California Wildfires Might be Risky

While browsing for news updates on California wildfires, that have ruined 50 homes and 10 commercial buildings and claimed the lives of two firemen, the web surfers are served with Trojan downloaders from malicious websites, as cybercriminals are trying to take undue advantage of this current high profile news search.

The users receive a list that includes pointers to websites containing malware, when they search for news on fire in Auburn area using search term- "auburn fire map". Sophos assured that it found fraudulent ant-virus software, identified as FakeAV-ZJ Trojan on websites. Furthermore, the infected sites are also circulating Mac malware, in particular Jahlav-C.

In addition, some websites have been using forged security alerts directing the user to download a video that requires a special 'codec' to be executed, which is a malware in fact. Senior technology consultant at Sophos, Graham Cluley, said that it would be better if the users trust the renowned news sources for updates on latest breaking news, as hackers would never miss out such an opportunity to serve malicious codes, as per the news published by The Register on September 1, 2009.

Security experts added that the attack appears to be a part of a huge campaign aimed to exploit search results related to the much hyped news reports.

Further, the experts also commented that the malicious site is one among the groups of sites that are altered daily. The hackers use switching terminal sites because these are the hidden URLs that can remain static for several days, although they continue to rotate for the latest 2GCash Fake Codec sites.

Sophos' experts also said that the current incident is the latest example of profit-oriented VXers, computer virus developers that take advantage of natural calamities and tragedies to spread computer infection. Recent incidents that have been lucratively exploited include Pop Star Michael Jackson's demise, the outbreak of pandemic H1N1, and the Hurricane Katrina, among numerous others.

So, the users are strongly recommended to access news only from trusted sources, rather than clicking on search results pointing to unfamiliar domain names. Genuine and updated anti-virus software is also a must when it comes to safeguard PCs against such threats.

Related article: NZ Researcher Uncovers Hacking Techniques Against Vista

» SPAMfighter News - 9/21/2009

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