02 Oct 2009
Story image

Latest malware exploit: tsunami warnings

The tsunami warnings issued following the recent Indonesian earthquake are being exploited by malware developers.

Scammers have targeted keywords such as “tsunami” and “western Samoa” in an attempt to ensnare unwary Web surfers.

"An unfortunate side effect of any news-worthy disasters of the modern day is that a wave of malware will often follow in the virtual world after the initial event in the physical world,” says Symantec.

“For many people, search engines are the gateway to the masses of information available and because of this, it is also one of the first places to be targeted by malware creators. They waste no time in getting their malicious software and Web sites set up and poisoning the Web searches to make sure that their results are returned near the top of the page.

”The latest exploits exhibit the same pattern as the recent Serena Williams malware.

Certain Web pages promising information about the tsunami will attempt to perform fake antivirus scans and will suggest that computers have been infiltrated with spyware. These operations, known as ‘scareware’, will then offer to ‘clean’ PCs for a fee, in the process of further infecting systems.

As always, we recommend that you run anti-virus software on your computer and keep it up to date at all times.

Recent stories
More stories