Malicious code writers seem to be taking up every chance that they can to take advantage of unsuspecting Internet users. Only a few days ago, F-Secure discovered malware spreading on the Web posing as fake Christmas and New Years greeting cards. Now, cyber criminals won’t even let death come in the way of their so-called underground businesses because a number of malicious Web sites are trying to cash in on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister of Pakistan, more warmly referred to as the “Daughter of Democracy.”
If you search for Benazir Bhutto on the Internet, chances are extremely high that you would reach a malicious Web site that will attempt to steal your money and personal details stored on the computer. It may even cause your computer to crash. All of this could happen if you do not have genuine and valid anti-virus software installed on your system.
It was anti-virus vendor Websense Security Labs who discovered such malicious websites floating around on the Internet, trying to capitalize on the news of Bhutto’s assassination.
Here is exactly what happens, as explained by Websense Security Labs. When a user searches for information on a particular topic, which in this case is Benazir Bhutto, a number of malicious web sites send Trojans to the users’ computers. Trojans are viruses that lie low and steal one’s personal information from the computer.
These Trojans steal banking account details, passwords and other sensitive information stored on computers, said Surendra Singh, Regional Direction (SAARC & India), Websense. These details are then mailed back to the individual who set up the site, who would then use the data to steal money and further information.
As of now, Websense has tracked the number of such sites to be around 15 or 20. The security firm is in the process of verifying this.
In fact, so widespread is the attempt to cash in on the assassination of Pakistan’s first female prime minister that IT experts claim that every third link that comes up on Google search is that of a malicious web site. One such site to be noted is www.storyofpakistan.com.
This not the first time that hackers have used popular news stories to attack people’s computers. One that comes to mind is the time when spammers and hackers exploited the Virginia Tech Tragedy to spread malware via the Internet. Another disgusting one seems to be the time when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and was later used as themes by hackers all over the world.
Benazir Bhutto died on Thursday succumbing to gunshots and a subsequent suicide bombing that occurred after she finished an election rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. It is indeed very sad to know that people wish to capitalize on tragical events that have shaken the entire world.
To avoid falling into the trap of hackers, an IT analyst has said that installing a proper anti-virus solution could be of great help. Even though the cover is limited, it’s worth having good software.