Beware malicious festive tweets
SECURITYBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Benin’s internet cafés become headquarters for cybercrimeInternet cafés in the West African nation of Benin appear to be fast becoming ‘command centres’ for online scammers. Read More
Heartbleed a ‘severe vulnerability’Today will be a memorable one in cybersecurity history, thanks to the end of Windows XP support and the coming to light of the Heartbleed Open SSL vulnerability, says Lucas Zaichkowsky, Enterprise Defense Architect at AccessData. Read More
Kaspersky Lab Launches worldwide interactive cyberthreat mapKaspersky Lab has launched an interactive cyberthreat map that visualises cyber security incidents occurring worldwide in real time. Read More
Kaspersky Lab study: about one third of all phishing attacks aimed at stealing moneyCybercriminals are trying harder than ever to acquire confidential user information and steal money from bank accounts, says a new study by Kaspersky Lab. Read More
Uganda to host Banking Fraud and ICT Security ConferenceThe 3rd Annual East Africa Banking and ICT Security Summit will be held on April 25 in Kampala Uganda. Read More
Kenya’s cyber security strategy enters homestretchKenya is putting in place a cyber security strategy to protect the country’s online assets. Read More
Over the NSA surveillance hype? Here’s why you shouldn’t beA year after the Snowden revelations, the panic has died down and most companies and individuals are carrying on as they did before. But they shouldn’t be, says JJ Milner, MD of Global Micro. Read More
Three layers of security: crucial for businessBusinesses today need to focus equally on physical, personnel and cyber security in order to mitigate risk in the face of growing criminal focus on enterprise data, says UK-based security expert Chris Phillips. Read More
2014 Banking and ICT summits pegged for Uganda, Zambia and EthiopiaCyber Security Africa has announced that its 2014 Banking and ICT summits will be hosted in Uganda, Zambia and Ethiopia. Read More
FEATURED STORYKenyan shift to Green Economy would generate USD 45bn by 2030
Kenya’s transition to a green economy could produce major economic benefits equivalent to an estimated USD 45 billion by 2030, a new study shows.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHE-waste threatens Ghana’s beaches
Many beaches in Ghana, already stressed by pollution and poor maintenance, are now facing a new threat: e-waste.
COMPANY NEWSFurther African expansion for Phoenix
Phoenix Distribution, a leading broad-based distributor on the African continent, has expanded its office in Nairobi, Kenya, in a move to better serve its partners in East ...