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Cybercriminals Exploiting Ice Bucket Challenge

Softpedia.com published news on 1st September, 2014 quoting a recent warning of security experts as "Cybercriminals leverage the popularity of the IceBucket Challenge for financial gains by luring victims to malicious locations or by convincing them to donate money for their cause."

The Ice Bucket Challenge is a fundraising movement to support the infamous amyotrophic sclerosis (ALS) which is also commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The premise of the challenge is that a person can challenge his/her family, friends or colleagues (normally on social media) to either dump a bucket of ice water on their head within 24 hours or donate $100 to ALS.

Communication via scam email is the most common method to push users to malware but it has been observed that victims are being called directly for donations.

Cyber crooks started sending scam emails with links leading to many celebrities completing the challenge but actually directing to downloading of malware.

Besides this, another type of scam involving phony charities set up by scammers to steal your charitable contributions has also been seen. Then they call the victims and ask for donations.

Itbusinessnet.com published a report on 21st August, 2014 quoting Steven Sundermeier, Owner of Thirtyseven4, a popular security firm, as saying "Cybercriminals have a long history of exploiting the hottest trends and news headlines for their wickedness. Recently, we've seen bogus video claiming to be of beloved comedian actor Robin Williams bidding his last goodbye posted on Facebook by scammers. Cybercriminals are also exploiting the world's attention towards outbreak of Ebola virus by luring users to open malicious email attachments. So now viral Ice Bucket Challenge will not be left out especially when high-profile celebrities getting involved and the challenge becomes global. I think it's only a matter of time before fake websites of ALS start polluting social networking sites and other malware operations start evolving."

He advised that never allow any software to be installed on your computer to avoid being scammed and type the charity's URL into your browser yourself to donate.

Experts also suggested installing the updated anti-virus solution on your system to avoid such notorious malware programs.

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