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Halloween themed spam & malware attacks on the way.

Posted by Geraldine Hunt on Wed, Oct 26th, 2011

Halloween is just around the corner, with cyberspooks worldwide preparing to haunt millions of computers in the hopes of harvesting data and ultimately stealing cash. SpamTitan Technologies are warning people once again that Halloween is another opportunity for cybercrimals to prey on unsuspecting targets, holidays are always a favourite time for cybercriminals to try and scam people and Halloween is no exception.

We are warning users about Halloween-related spam and other engineered attacks that aim  to  take advantage on unsuspecting  targets during the Halloween holiday. We have already seen  “Halloween sale” spam e-mails advertising a variety of pirated software. Some other seasonal spam being blocked by SpamTitans all around the world in recent days include free gift cards and fake holiday themed online surveys. Oftentimes these links leads to a bogus websites whose primary function is to harvest user information, name, email address, telephone number and other details.

Common Halloween scams

Common scams include online greeting cards, or links to sites such as the 'dancing skeleton' attack. In 2007 the dancing skeleton blended attack rattled email systems around the world linking to a site that tried to automatically download a web archive file which contains malware. It's estimated that this Halloween attack affected millions of users worlwide.

Email messages like this often contain a virus attachment or a link to a malicious page or video file. The importance of having a solution in place to block these types of emails from ever reaching the network is crucially important. We also expect Facebook and Twitter  will be extensively used by criminals looking for an easy way to persuade users to install malware.

The cost to business

In case you’re wondering how successful these spam campaigns can be, according to Sean Doherty, senior engineer with SpamTitan Technologies ‘The pattern is repeated every year, 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. The simple fact is that these scams wouldn’t be repeated if they didn’t reap rewards for the cybercriminals’.

For any business these  scams can have devastating consequences; what looks like an innocent twitter post or email / facebook link can end up infecting your companys' computer network with malware, potentially damaging data and compromising security resulting in an expensive and time-consuming clean up operation.

With hundreds of thousands  people looking forward to enjoying the holiday weekend the increase in the number of people going online around the world is giving scammers plenty of fresh targets.We advise users to be extremely vigilant and above all to ensure their security applications are up-to-date.

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