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
The importance of password securityMany users assume their passwords are of no value to cyber criminals, says Kaspersky Lab. Read More
MTN Business expands partnership with Samsung to offer enterprise customers increased securitySamsung Electronics South Africa has announced that MTN Business has been appointed as a reseller of Samsung’s KNOX licenses to its customers. Read More
Ghanaian to moderate Council of Europe Conference on CybercrimeA Ghanaian cyber security expert, Albert Antwi-Boasiako, has been selected by the Council of Europe to moderate a session at its Cooperation against Cybercrime - Octopus Conference in Strasbourg, France. Read More
Be on the lookout for new cyber threats, warns KasperskyKaspersky Lab has urged Kenyan companies to put the right security and strategies in place against cybercrime to avid losses and reputational damage. Read More
Threat of cyberattacks on the rise for African companiesDeloitte says cyber criminals are getting smarter and know no boundaries, so companies in Africa need to raise their preparedness. Read More
Kaspersky Lab, ISA combine efforts to protect critical infrastructureKaspersky Lab and the International Society of Automation (ISA) have launched a joint education initiative to raise awareness of industrial automation equipment operators about cyber threats. Read More
Ransomware: don’t pay the cybercriminalsESET offers tips on how keep PCs protected and avoid supporting cybercrime activities. Read More
Data breaches to cost $2.1 trillion by 2019New research suggests that the rapid digitisation of consumers’ lives and enterprise records will increase the cost of data breaches to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019. Read More
Betting the farm on untested techWhile a plethora of new payment solutions are coming to market, businesses should be cautious about moving to new solutions just for the sake of it. Read More
Mobile student ID system to authenticate over 2 million Nigerian studentsHID Global and Botosoft have built and delivered a system to help the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) register and authenticate Nigerian students. Read More
FEATURED STORYIHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacity
Mohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAs curtain falls on MDGs, what next?
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.