28 Mar 2011

Cyber criminals taking advantage of Japan earthquake aftermath

It appears cyber criminals refuse to rest, even after the devastation caused by the recent earthquake in Japan.

According to several security companies, searching for information regarding Japan and the earthquake may lead to malicious spyware links. One company has witnessed a Facebook survey scam.

Also, Russian cyber criminals have apparently wreaked havoc on companies that defend against botnets created by ZeuS and SpyEye kits, according to security journalist Brian Krebs. Distributors of the botnets have also attacked websites that track their malicious activity with denial of service.

“The advice, as always, is to exercise extreme caution when using search engine results. Use Google's news filter if possible, which applies a vetting process to the search results, and treat all emails and Facebook posts [containing links] with suspicion,” said a VirusBulletin article. “If possible, go directly to recognized news agency sites and only make donations to legitimate charity websites.”

Cyber attacks are spreading worldwide. For example, South Korea recently reported 40 of the country’s websites were attacked by a virus, while 150 French government workstations were attacked by hackers seeking access to sensitive information regarding the G20 Summit.