|Hackers change tactics|
Thursday, 21 January 2010 02:00
Cyber criminals will use social networks to lead unsuspecting users onto malware-infected Web sites relating to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
This was one of the key findings in the Cisco Security Trends 2009 report, which was released last month and includes threat information gathered between January and December last year.
Gaf Khan, Cisco product sales specialist, explains: “At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, we saw a lot of denial of service attacks, meaning hackers would redirect people from legitimate Web sites to their malware-infected Web sites.
“I expect that this trend will continue in 2010 with the Fifa World Cup and we are going to see a lot of fake advertising to lure victims.”
The report also revealed that cyber criminals have changed the way they target social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
Instead of searching for system vulnerabilities in social networking sites to exploit, criminals are using social networking scams to steal personal information from Internet users for financial gain.
The report explains that a cyber criminal masquerading as a trusted social networking friend will convince an Internet user to visit a malware-laden Web site or pay for fake anti-virus software.
Cisco says: “New attacks rely on social media users` willingness to respond to messages that supposedly originate from people they know and trust. It is easier, and often more lucrative, to fool a social media user in order to launch an attack or exploit or steal personal information.”
Another finding reflected on the decision by the Obama administration last year to issue the cyberspace policy review report, which intends to be a starting point towards boosting government security in critical infrastructure and consumer systems on a global scale.
Cisco says the US Department of Homeland Security has laid out plans to recruit up to 1 000 cyber experts over the next three years to detect, investigate and deter cyber attacks.
However, Khan notes that SA still has a way to go before implementing similar measures. He adds that the Protection of Personal Information Bill will be signed into legislation in April this year, in order to protect information from being compromised.
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