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Fake Presidential Campaign Sites Target Innocent Users

The rising applications of the net as means of interaction and fund-raising by presidential nominees has another malicious twin - an abundant, though temporary, flow of income being directed towards cyber-criminals.

According to Webroot, the anti-spyware company, it has found numerous bogus Websites that tempt net surfers to download malevolent files. Visitors may come across these fake sites unwittingly after following a dubious URL from a search list or perhaps after misspelling the name of a legal site. The fake Websites are meant to look like a genuine campaigner's home page in order to entice surfers into downloading corrupted videos or screensavers.

People opening these dangerous links can become affected with an array of spyware and new malware applications, business executives alleged.

The Trojan named Zlob is one such malevolent program; a comparatively admired bit of software program. Ages ago, Symantec had discovered and named this Trojan horse as Trojan.Zhopa. It's used to install varied malware devices equipped to impart hackers' remote access to infected computers, or of thieving keystrokes and passwords.

As per Mike Irwin, the COO of Webroot, they first discovered such fakes enveloping the sites of Ron Paul and Barack Obama. However, the fakes are seen increasing at month-ends and are likely to snowball as the campaign sites start to witness greater traffic in the later stages of electioneering or during main fund-raising campaigns, as reported by Channel Register on October 2, 2007.

Since hackers are aiming the most frequently visited sites, citizens looking for nominee's details have to be vigilant while surfing these sites. It is advisable not to download screensavers or videos unless you are confident that they are originating from a reliable source.

According to COMPUTERWORLD on October 1, 2007, Webroot's CEO Peter Watkins said that majority of the faked Internet sites utilize URLs that exploit typos and spelling mistakes made by people while inserting a campaigner's Web address.

A major increase in these types of Websites is being witnessed in the present year, Watkins stated, observing that the election run-up for 2008 is the earliest where presidential aspirants have adopted the net so significantly.

Related article: Fake Spam Mail Announces Australian PM’s Heart Attack

» SPAMfighter News - 11/19/2007

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