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Criminals using Gaddafi news as hook for spam & phishing attacks

Posted by Geraldine Hunt on Sun, Oct 23rd, 2011

Gaddafi Spam & Phishing attacks increasing

Security analysts at TitanhHQ have reported that not surprisingly the level of spam and phishing attacks surrounding the recent death of Muammar Gaddafi is increasing.  Criminals are using a variety of formats including emails containing links to malware infected sites and emails containing infected attachments, frequently a video. Some of the phrases to look out for in email headers include ‘Inside Aisha Gaddafis bathroom’, ‘Gaddafi death video – I shot and killed him’ etc.

Phishing scams similar to 419 scam circulates

Cyber criminals are also targeting innocent victims using scams similar to the Nigerian 419 scam (the advance-free fraud scam) asking people to provide bank account details so that money can be lodged in the short term for a future payment. One Colonel Gaddafi phishing scam is an email claiming to be from Mrs Gaddafi saying she has enormous stores on gold in secret vaults which she now needs to transfer abroad with the help of the unsuspecting victim’s.

The enormous levels of interest from people going online around the world to find out the latest developments in relation to Libya is giving scammers plenty of new potential victims. To date it is estimated that over $40 billion has been lost to 419 scams alone explaining why these scam emails continue to exist and grow in frequency and ferocity.

What keeps spammers spamming?

According to Ronan Kavanagh SpamTitan CEO ‘. SPAM will continue to exist as long as it is profitable and with growing numbers of people on the internet spammers have a growing market of millions of people for their spam. It’s purely a numbers game, the greater the market for the spammers the greater chance of a response and therefore the greater the reward’.

How to keep your company protected

To prevent these spam attacks, organisations need to remain vigilant and follow proven guidelines such as not clicking on links or attachments in unsolicited emails. It is vital that people keep their security solutions valid and up to date so that they can secure their organisations and manage Internet usage in order to improve network security. To keep safe think before clicking on search results and view videos on trusted news sites only.

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