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Beware of Christchurch tragedy-related online attacks and scams


Opportunistic actors are looking to make quick profit from Christchurch tragic events that happened in March this year, by engaging in the online scams and by spreading a malware embedded in the content related to that gruesome attack of Christchurch.


Around 50 people have lost lives in Christchurch shooting, thus prompting a nation-wide support for the affected. More than US$ 5.5 million (NZ$ 8 Million) were raised from over 100,000 contributors via donation pages that have been set up on LaunchGood and Givealittle crowdfunding platforms.


Various celebrities like Madonna, Ashton Kutcher, Ben Stiller, and Chris Rock also helped and donated for this cause. Sonny Bill Williams, the Rugby player, have partnered with the non-profit MATW Project in order to raise money for the victims.


But unfortunately, the scammers as well as attackers are using this tragic event as a chance to perform targeted cyber-attacks against the New Zealanders. CERT of NZ received reports that the scammers use this tragic event as a subject for the phishing emails having fake login links of online banking as well as fraudulent bank accounts for
donating to the affected people from Christchurch tragedy.


A scam alert was also issued by Westpac New Zealand bank about emails seems to be coming from the organization. These emails request donations for the Christchurch attack victims. Furthermore, these emails for getting donations also provide fraudulent account number.


As per the public service announcement made on Monday (i.e. on March 18, 2019), CERT NZ also observed that malicious video content was spread by attackers on social media or via compromised websites. The cybersecurity body warns that "a video file containing footage related to the attack had malware embedded in it and this malicious file is being shared online".


Moreover, there were reports that some websites of New Zealand were defaced in order to distribute the political messages regarding the mass shooting in Christchurch, while a few others have received threats that via DoS (Denial-of-Service) attacks they will be taken offline.


CERT NZ suggests that those who are willing to donate money must use the official platforms as well as banks, and should avoid the links received on social media or by email.


» SPAMfighter News - 4/8/2019

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