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A Merry Christmas For Cyber-Criminals

Innumerable number of people are waiting for their gifts as the festive season is approaching near. Online shoppers are getting ready to spend extensive amounts to welcome Christmas and with them, online criminals are also gearing up for the busiest time of the year.

In 2005, online shoppers spent a huge US$ 10 Billion during the festival season. It was 24% more than the amount spent in 2004, showing that a considerable number of people are at risk. PC Tools, security firm that specializes in discovering viruses and spyware, cautioned that shoppers should be cautious when shopping online on new sites.

PC Tools Limited cautioned festive shoppers that upto 50% of novel spyware threats from Russia and China are looking for specific personal information for identity thefts. Michael Greene, Vice President, Product Strategy, stated, "hackers are concentrating on stealing identities and looting companies. Around 90% of the threats in holiday season are from spyware and not viruses".

A major share of spyware is created to thieve the personal data like bank account no., passwords and credit card details. Nobody wants to shop online with a spyware hidden on the system. A lot of free spyware scanners are available that one can use. But extreme care must be taken while selecting the source of this software as many hackers misrepresent spyware program as free anti-spyware program.

As per the security firm, a majority of the festival shoppers will be targeted when purchasing presents on the net. Those depending on Internet for their Christmas shopping can anticipate to be aimed by malevolent strikes as many rootkits and mischievous spyware programs are in circulation.

Jim Meem, Director, PC Tools' malware Research Center, stated, "we are specifically worried that countries like Russia are doing the business of spyware kits and is augmenting the problem. We are aware that customers are especially at risk during the festival holidays".

Most of the users do not know that Web surfing can lead to computer lock-up or identity theft, said Michael Greene. He added that holiday shopping is just perfect for PC hackers who employ phishing techniques, key-loggers and spyware to snatch sensitive information and passwords form users.

Related article: A New "Blackmailing" Variant Creeps Around…

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