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DHS Alerts Public to Phishing and Malware Attacks Following Hurricane Irene

The United States DHS (Department of Homeland Security) has issued an alert to all Americans saying they should exercise additional caution while clicking on electronic mails about Hurricane Irene. Examiner.com reported this on August 26, 2011. Basically, it's a part of DHS' responsibilities towards safeguarding critical infrastructures inside America.

A security advisory, on August 25, 2011, reportedly warned private sector and government agencies that online crooks frequently exploited largely publicized occurrences for tricking Internet-users into becoming victimized with their scams. Internet-related offences like malware attacks and phishing scams might trigger as public enthusiasm for news related to the recent weather outpours, the DHS warned.

The DHS also warned that spam mails could circulate with captions which mentioned the storm as also posed as messages from trustworthy entities. However, opening the e-mails would likely install remote access programs, keyloggers, or other malware onto people's PCs, the department explained.

Meanwhile, the National Cyber-security and Communications Integration Center of DHS, within the advisory, called upon network admins along with all Internet-users for remaining wary of the above malicious attempts as also shunning opening the related e-mails.

Significantly, the security warning indicates the increasing notice the DHS as well as other organizations and agencies on cyber-security are making of phishing assaults.

Besides, online crooks are utilizing BHSEO (black-hat search engine optimization) tactics as well for poisoning search engine returns that generate vicious URLs associated with certain search phrases. Further they're disseminating harmful posts across Twitter, Facebook and other such social-networking websites for delivering web-links that on clicking result in system compromise.

Remarking about the above mentioned malicious campaigns, Researcher Cameron Camp of ESET stated that at the time a prominent global incident occurred, the general public felt urgency for hearing more about it in a way that exhibited passion. There was a rush for getting the most dependable update whereas minimal consciousness was adopted for maintaining the normal precautions, he continued.

He further stated that there was the involvement of a social factor too since several of the malevolent web-links disseminated across social networks had users believe the information came from their "friends" and therefore was trustworthy.

Related article: Dixie College Suffers Data Hack

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