Beware malicious festive tweets

SECURITY

|
Image: By BizTechAfrica
Beware malicious festive tweets

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 “ Advent calendar” , “ Hanukkah” or even “ Grinch” , 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/



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE SECURITY NEWS

Fortinet: JP Morgan hack has the hallmarks of an APT

The coordinated hacks of JPMorgan Chase and a number of other banks, which was revealed in the global media yesterday, bear all the hallmarks of an APT attack, says Fortinet South Africa. Read More

McAfee names new Regional Director

McAfee, part of Intel Security, has announced the appointment of Trevor Coetzee as its new regional director, South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa.  Read More

Security professionals slam govt, banks over security

Nigeria’s Information Technology System and Security Professional (ITSSP) body says lenders are putting the cart before the horse by not first considering the security of applications before deploying them. Read More

Kaspersky Lab launches free app scanner for Android

To safeguard users against a number of Android vulnerabilities discovered in recent months, Kaspersky Lab has released a free mobile application for the platform. Read More

Police claim rise in cyber crime

Botswana Police have indicated that there is marked increase in crimes involving the internet in the country.  Read More

Multi-layer security to combat social media attacks

Enterprises are vastly underestimating the risk of social media, says Fortinet distributor Networks Unlimited. Read More

Where DDoS is a business opportunity

DDoS attacks may strike fear into the hearts of anyone involved in the online space, but protecting against them presents a new business opportunity for ISPs, says Networks Unlimited. Read More

Biometrics in retail expected to boom

The use of biometrics in retail is expected to increase dramatically, says Ideco. Read More

Kaspersky Lab: Koler ‘police’ mobile ransomware now targets PCs, Android

Kaspersky Lab has issued a warning of ransomware that displays customised messages to victims in over 30 countries. Read More

Small businesses take big IT security risks: Kaspersky Lab

A new report concludes that a lack of budget remains the biggest barrier preventing small businesses from adopting more advanced IT and IT security measures. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

Safaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up Safaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up

Equity bank's entry to the mobile banking and telephony industry is still hanging in the balance with London-based global association of mobile operators (GSMA) calling for independent audit. 

IN DEPTH

Kenya rolls out e-extension to improve agricultureKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture

In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.