Beware malicious festive tweets
SECURITY| Dec. 7, 2010, 10:45 a.m.
Global IT vendor Panda Security warns that cyber-criminals are exploiting Twitter to spread malware in festive-themed messages.
Using methods akin to Black Hat SEO techniques, hackers are taking advantage of trending topics to position malware distribution campaigns.
Topics such as “
or even “
, are among the most popular subjects used by hackers to entice users.
Panda says thousands of tweets have been launched using festive-themed phrases, such as “ Nobody cares about Hanukkah” or “ Shocking video of the Grinch” , along with short URLs pointing to malicious websites.
Users who click the link will be taken to a page that infects systems with false codecs by exploiting a security hole in PDF files and tries to trick users into downloading a codec that is really a downloader Trojan, which in turn downloads more malware onto the compromised computer.
In addition to subjects related to Christmas, cyber-criminals are using other hot topics to spread their creations, including the Sundance festival, the AIDS campaign and the Carling Cup.
According to Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’ s sub-Saharan operations, “ Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly popular with hackers because of their ever-increasing number of users, and the ease at which they (the hackers) can post malicious links. That’ s why the number of clicks, and therefore infections, tends to be very high.”
Keep your computer safe this Christmas
With the increased risk over the Christmas period, Panda offers users a series of practical security tips for using social media:
1) Don't click suspicious links from non-trusted sources. This should apply to messages received through Twitter, through other social networks and even via email.
2) If you click on the links, check the target page. If you don't recognize it, close your browser.
3) Even if you don't see anything strange in the target page, but you are asked to download something, don't accept.
4) If you do download or install an executable file and the PC starts to launch messages or behaves strangely, there is probably malware on your computer. In this case, you should check your computer with a free online scanner such as ActiveScan, available at: www.activescan.com
5) As a general rule, make sure your computer is well protected to ensure that you are not exposed to the risk of infection from any malicious code. You can protect yourself with the new, free Panda Cloud Antivirus solution (www.cloudantivirus.com).
“ It is important to remember that hackers will take advantage of any big holiday or event, which is why it is important to remain extra vigilant during these times” , concludes Matthews.
For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/
MORE SECURITY NEWS
Kaspersky Lab: Emerging Threats in the APT World - Predictions for 2015Kaspersky Lab experts have released a list of the top emerging threats in the APT world. Read More
“Visibility Void” represents potential threat to enterprisesCompanies must stay on top of a growing pool of cyber-threats says Andrew Potgieter, security solutions director at Westcon. Read More
The hackers’ bounty - how much do cybercriminals make from innocent users?Cybercriminals could be raking in profits 20 times greater than the cost of their attacks, according to figures compiled by Kaspersky Lab experts. Read More
Regin: a malicious platform capable of spying on GSM networksKaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team has published its research on Regin – the first cyber-attack platform known to penetrate and monitor GSM networks in addition to other “standard” spying tasks. Read More
Security a top priority as Africa moves to LTESecuring the network is a top priority for telcos and carriers as LTE becomes increasingly mainstream across Africa, says Fortinet. Read More
Barclays ropes in ICT taskforce in anti-fraud warBarclays Bank of Botswana (BBB) has roped in experts in the field of Information Technology and cybercrime to give weight to its annual fraud awareness month. Read More
Kaspersky Lab: Most businesses use third-party services to manage virtualisationLess than one-third of businesses keep their virtualisation servers on-premises and managed entirely by their own internal IT staff, according to a Kaspersky Lab survey of 3,900 IT professionals worldwide. Read More
Cisco: Employee complacency increases riskResearch released by Cisco shows that critical company data is at risk in South Africa as a result of organisations focusing IT security policies and resources more on external threats and not enough on the threat from within. Read More
FEATURED STORYPWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some
PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.