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Earthquake and Tsunami Searchers Targeted By Malware

Highlights Larger Security Problem

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You have probably heard about the Indonesian Earthquake that took place last night, claiming the lives of many. Shameless cybercriminals have not wasted anytime exploiting the disaster targeting people around the world who search for information on the subject.

According to Symantec, malware creators have devised malicious software and websites designed to make money from concerned members of the public, by targeting specific web searches so that their sites get listed in results. Such queries include things like "western Samoa," "Earthquake," "Tsunami," etc.

When users go to these sites, they are presented with fake antivirus scan attempts, which offer to clean users’ computers. Of course they do just the opposite.

The subject is really just reflective of a larger phenomenon in which cybercriminals are preying on innocent searchers by targeting topics that are highly searched for. There’s nothing more heavily searched for than current events, and there are plenty of tools out there that give away this information. Things like Google’s Hot Trends, Yahoo’s popular searches, and  Twitter’s trending topics are generally good indicators of queries that are being heavily searched for.

Google Hot Trends

"These types of attack are becoming increasingly prevalent online," says Hon Lau, Security Response Manager at Symantec. "We recently identified similar attacks following both the Serena Williams outburst and the Twitter based attacks reported last week. The people behind these scams are constantly evolving and adapting their attacks to suit current news events. Unfortunately there is no event, no matter how heartbreaking, which a hacker will not try to profit from."

Symantec warns users to be "vigilant and cautious" of any search results which appear not to link to trusted sources.

Earthquake and Tsunami Searchers Targeted By Malware
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  • Guest

    bla bla

    • Guest

      Sounds like this joker might be one of those very ‘cyber-criminals’. Heartless puke!

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