10 June 2006 | 3,571 views

Predicting Malware – Events Trigger Malware/Phishing Spikes

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Apologies for the lack of updates for the past few days, I had to go abroad for an important assessment ;)

It’s sad how people can pray on things as terrible as disasters to make a quick buck, but well we have to face the facts that they do, and will.

And as it seems, they will use anything, we’ve already seen a trojan targetting world cup fans.

For example, consider what we witnessed last year following the Katrina and Rita hurricanes that struck the southern coast of the USA. Within 24 hours of landfall, the Internet Storm Center observed a dramatic increase in fraudulent web sites aimed at good-hearted people wanting to donate to charities or relief efforts. We can predict with fairly high certainty that the same thing is going to happen again this year. We are monitoring DNS registrations and have seen several new names appear in the last few weeks with the strings “alberto”, “beryl”, “donation”, or “hurricane” in them. (Alberto and Beryl are the first two names on the list for 2006.) Are they all legitimate? Well, let’s see what happens as soon as the first storm forms and makes landfall.

People have even gone to the length of pre-registering domains for hurricanes that haven’t even HAPPENED yet, amazing eh?

We really need to focus on the so called ‘layer 8′ protection, beef up the wetware, educate and inform! The world cup will trigger all kinds of tricks, we can pretty much guarantee that, so we have to be on our guards.

In fact, one of our observant readers (thanks, George!) wrote us to say, “I work in a government research lab with a very diverse user population, including many soccer fans. The last World Cup led to a malware spike. I expect another spike this year, but with a potential for more sophisticated attacks.” So George is keeping an eye out for a potential rise in malware attacks, basing his prediction on the fact that during the World Cup many fraudsters and pranksters will likely launch specially crafted emails and set up bogus web sites designed to lure in sports fans around the world.

At least if we are ready, we can thwart the attacks before they happen in most cases, perhaps just a mass e-mail warning people will suffice.

Source: SANS



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