[AI] FIFA fever kicks up malware fear

Renuka Warrier erenuka at gmail.com
Sun Jun 13 09:29:11 EDT 2010


The Hindu : Sci-Tech / Technology : FIFA fever kicks up malware fear
BANGALORE, June 12, 2010 

DEEPA KURUP 
A fake website, sourced from Symantec. Photo: Special Arrangement
The HinduA fake website, sourced from Symantec. Photo: Special Arrangement 

Football fans, watch out! Temptation and the consequent virus are just a click away. Both come together in many forms - an innocuous email offering low-priced
tickets to the FIFA finals, fake videos of game highlights or football news content, and messages that crown you the lucky winner of a 'football lottery'
scheme. 

In keeping with trends in 'social engineering' - internet security parlance for hackers' attempts to play on human psychology or interest in particular
events - this time too cyberspace is full of malicious email. Some of these entice you to click on innocuous links that install malware, which then steals
your data, or sniffs out personal information such as bank/credit card details.

Symantec, a leading internet security firm, warns that this time around, spammers are also optimising their fake websites. Hapless net users mistake these
sites for original FIFA websites and end up paying for content or stuff that does not exist. Malicious activity on the web is known to be significantly
high in countries, where new internet bandwidth is made available. South Africa's new tech infrastructure, and the huge interest that the FIFA events generate,
creates a "perfect storm" for cyber criminals, says Shantanu Ghosh, Vice President, India Product Operations, Symantec.

So, if you click on a colourful file attached to a cleverly-worded email from the "Canada Lottery - Soccer World Cup 2010 Promotional Draw," for instance,
be prepared to get sucked into an elaborate scam, involving your financial details, accounts and your computer. The Symantec also warns against falling
for "promotional offers" from hotels in South Africa, that even throw in a free ticket for one of the matches.

Don't be shocked if an iconic football player suddenly begins to 'follow' you on Twitter. Symantec came across a fake Beckham account, an indigenous attempt
by an online retailer to push sales. "The credibility of the fake account is bolstered by other fraudulent accounts linking back to it and by cross following
legitimate Twitter accounts, which probably have been hacked earlier. These are a vehicle for spam advertising and even link to infected sites," Mr. Ghosh
said.




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