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Phishers Capitalize On Human Tragedies

Security investigators are cautioning individuals against cyber-terrorists, malware authors, and phishers who usually try to capitalize on big newsworthy incidents. Masses are being advised to stay vigilant against phishings and invasion by malicious software to exploit this week's mishap at Virginia Tech University as revealed by Itnews on April 19, 2007.

On April 17 night, the US SANS Internet Storm Center informed that nearly 28 Internet addresses had been recorded pertaining to the shootout, in addition to www.hokiemassacre.com and www.vatechshooting.com.

According to George Bakos, SANS' manager, several of the websites still don't have any message, and they may be employed for a supportive use, like fund-raising. Nevertheless, people should be careful about emails that take them to these recently built sites.

"Although a few of these are certainly well-intentioned groups contributing to the stream of support for the associates and relatives of those killed, others are probably timeservers who want to capitalize on others' pain," Bakos alleged in Securecomputing's April 19, 2007 edition.

"Beware of a spate of junk e-mails and phishing arriving from these spongers," Bakos added.

Cho Seung-Hui, a collegian at Virginia Tech, opened fire and massacred over 30 of his colleagues on the morning of April 16, 2007 in one of the most fatal peacetime shootout in the annals of US. He shot himself before the police could catch him.

Ben Butler, director with the top domain name registry Go Daddy's abuse department, assured SCMagazine.com that the firm was aggressively supervising domain names utilizing words and expressions concerning the Virginia Tech slaughter.

He appended that Go Daddy urges people to inform the firm about illegal sites. To date, Butler said, Go Daddy is tracking several sites with URLs concerning the shootout.

Sophos' senior technology consultant Graham Cluley, informed InformationWeek that malware writers and spammers also seek to exploit leading incidences, like the massacre at Virginia Tech.

"It's quite disgusting that hackers capitalize on tragedies like this in their endeavor to earn easy money, but unfortunately it's a well accepted fact," he said, remarking that Sophos' experts haven't witnessed these attacks as yet, as issued in Itnews's April 19, 2007 copy.

Related article: Phishers Expand Their Sphere of Attacks

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