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Malware Purveyors Continue to Exploit Tragic News Searches

A loss of hundred of lives by the Indonesian earthquake on September 30, 2009 provided immense opportunities to cybercriminals who did not waste single minute to benefit from the disaster. According to the security firm Symantec, cyber crooks are capitalizing on the news of earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia.

Aware of the fact that people round the world will be eager to browse the Internet to know about their relatives and friends, Symantec analysis revealed that malware writers have quickly designed malicious websites and software to make money from innocent people.

Also, according to the security firm, Internet fraudsters are exploiting web searches in order to plant their fake website at the top of the search page. People generally use search terms as "Earthquake", "Tsunami" and "Western Samoa", and when they click on these terms listed on the page, they get redirected to a malicious page that offers the users to clean their computers and perform bogus anti-virus scans.

These bogus anti-virus programs are termed as "scareware". They further ask the users to clean their computer systems for a required amount of fee, in order to move to the next step of infecting their systems.

Symantec said that the most unfortunate result of news-worthy disasters is that cyber crooks come up with malware assaults immediately after the initial event takes place in the real world.

Symantec researchers said that as search engines are considered as a gateway of information for most of the people, they are also most vulnerable to malware assaults.

Furthermore, Hon Lau, security response manager at Symantec, commented that such attacks are becoming prevalent online at an increasing rate, as per the news published by ComputerWorld on October 1, 2009.

Lau added that Symantec recently identified similar exploits following Twitter-based attacks and Serena Williams outburst reported in the final week of September 2009. Scam developers are constantly developing and modifying their attacks according to latest news events. Unfortunately, no matter how tragic an incident is, hackers leave no chance to benefit out of it.

Symantec has, therefore, warned users to be cautious and vigilant of such skeptical search results appearing to be linked to forged sources.

Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious

» SPAMfighter News - 10/20/2009

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