Every major event is exploited by cybercriminals to deliver malware

The more people feel concerned with the event, the bigger the game and the easier the hoax.

You can group these past years’ major events into 3 categories:

1. Disaster relief (earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan, nuclear disaster in Fukushima, famine in Somalia…) Cybercriminals will prey on the sympathy for the victims, using legitimate charity credentials to collect donations into accounts they control. These guys are looking for money, credit card numbers and personal details. So, if you want to donate, use the official Website, or send your donation to the official offices, heck, you can even go to the offices. Just don’t reply to unsolicited emails.

2. Sporting events (FIFA EuroCup, 2012 Olympics) – Before, during and after the event come a flurry of scams ranging from fake game tickets, fake hotel rooms, betting scams, fake lotteries… cybercriminals are hunting for money and personal details. So, if you want the real deal, buy the real tickets, from the real official seller.

3. Celebrities (especially death) – Cybercriminals try to arouse base instincts by luring people in with gory and shocking video footage or pictures. The idea behind the scam is to steal credentials (especially on social networking sites such as Facebook), and/or install malware on your computer, thereby giving cybercriminals access to sensitive data and computer resources. So, if you want shocking images, rent a horror movie or just watch the news.

This year’s novelty is actually scammers using their own fake shortened URL services. Shortened URLs are increasing in popularity with micro-blogging and social networks. Unfortunately, they also turn out to be a very convenient tool for abuse. These URL shortening services don’t work like legitimate ones.

The spam emails contain a shortened URL created with a legitimate URL-shortening service. The link actually points to another shortened URL, but this time created using the spammer’s fake shortening service, which, in turn, redirects to the malicious website.

Spammers use it to better disguise their spam by giving them the appearance and functionality of a legitimate URL-shortening service: to better evade anti-spam filters and to better avoid disruption.


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