[AI] beware cyber criminals

rambabu adikesavalu rambabu_arb at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 9 15:06:37 EDT 2007

Hai net savies,
take care!!!
Beware of cyber criminals’ psycho-games 
      Anand Parthasarathy 
      Bangalore: Users of social networking sites, the
newest targets Internet 
      and email users -- even the more Net-savvy among
them – are falling prey 
      to cyber criminals who increasingly use
sophisticated psychological 
      tactics to lure their victims and obtain
sensitive personal and financial 
      In what is arguably the first study of its kind,
James Blascovich, 
      Professor of Psychology at the University of
California, Santa Barbara in 
      the U.S., has highlighted the psycho-games
played by Internet baddies -- 
      mostly through the mechanism of e-mail. First,
they create the illusion of 
      familiarity and legitimacy in the recipient --
sometimes going to 
      elaborate lengths to create fake sites that look
very similar to popular 
      social networking portals like MySpace.com .
      Then they create links from such sites to
extract information like 
      passwords or credit card numbers.
      They also play on victims who are advancement
focused -- or just plain 
      greedy -- with subject lines like “You’ve won!"
or "Instant payouts." 
      Embarrassment about physical shortcomings leads
many to use the anonymity 
      of the Web to solve their problems. They can
easily be lured by headings 
      like “Cure obesity!" or "Viagra". Ultimately the
cat-and-mouse mind games 
      are cold blooded financial scams -- Gartner
reports that cumulative losses 
      from such attacks, targeting sensitive
information, rose to more than $ 
      2.8 billion in 2006, up from $ 137 million in
2004. What is the solution? 
      At a basic level, it is better to eliminate most
such spam with good 
      filter software. But the baddies are getting
better at fooling filters 
      with short and innocuous-sounding subject lines.
So the final test, says 
      Dr Blascovich, is : “If a message is too good or
too bad to be true —it 
      probably is”

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