Phishers, Email Viruses Exploit Tsunami Disaster

    January 17, 2005

Adding insult to injury, virus writers and online phishing scammers have started exploiting efforts for the Tsunami aid for malicious means.

Two scams using the Indonesian/Indian crisis as a theme emerged this weekend. One of the scams involves an email with “Tsunami Donation! Please help!” in the subject line. The mailing contained an attachment called Tsunami.exe. When opened, the infected file launches VBSun-A, a newly discovered worm.

According to, “running the attached file will not only forward the virus to other Internet users but can also initiate a denial-of-service attack against a German hacking website.”

This is the second such worm that uses the Tsunami to fool unsuspecting people.

The other scam, a phishing attempt, uses a fake but convincing Red Cross web site to trick users into entering credit card information. This includes pin numbers. The site is located at If you would like to donate to the official Red Cross, please visit them here:

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said, “Duping innocent users into believing that they may be helping the tsunami disaster aid efforts shows hackers stooping to a new low. This gruesome insensitivity is a despicable ploy to get curious computer users to run malicious code on their computers. Everyone should be wary of unsolicited email attachments, and visit the established charity websites instead if they wish to assist those suffering as a result of the disaster.”

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.