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Hackers Exploit Iceland Volcanic Eruption to Spread Malware

According to the security experts, the volcanic eruption, which started on April 14, 2010, at Eyjafjallajökull glacier near Iceland is exploited by cyber criminals to corrupt systems.

As the incident causes flight disruption across the world, it is common to see people use Internet to keep themselves updated about new developments in real time. An analysis of Google trends discloses that "uk airspace," "volcano Iceland" and "flights cancelled" are some of the hottest search topics in the US.

Cyber criminals also pay attention to people's curiosity of finding something new online. Hence, they use artificial technique of improving web pages' rank which is known as Black Hat Search Engine Optimization (BHSEO). Using this technique, they get success in inserting malicious links into the top pages of search results.

The search of terms like "Iceland volcano picture" (most commonly searched by people at the moment) comes up with malicious results on the second page. These links direct users to web pages that display fake security alerts and try to convince them to install or download fake antivirus application on their systems.

Bogus antivirus applications (also known as scareware or fake security software) is a new variety of software that seems as the good purchase against the virus and worms war, said security experts.

As per the Google researchers, they have witnessed an increase in the fake AV threat both in relative and absolute forms of web malware on their site. In fact, fake AV represents nearly 15% of the total malware on the web. They further highlight that fake AV attacks constitute 60% of the malware found on domains which include trending keywords.

The most disturbing fact is that this is the second volcanic eruption in Iceland within a period of one month (March 21, 2010). Web search for terms like "Iceland Volcano" and "Iceland Volcanic Eruption" display dozens of hacked websites.

Therefore, the best way to avoid falling victim to scareware attacks is never click on unknown URLs. In spite of constant repetition of these warnings, people still fall victim to their curiosity and pay price.

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

» SPAMfighter News - 4/28/2010

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