SOURCE: BitDefender


September 09, 2011 13:58 ET

Anniversary of September 11th Attacks Brings New Wave of Cyber Crime

Bitdefender Finds Cyber Criminals Are Turning to Spam, Malware and Fraud to Exploit Those Showing Remembrance

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA--(Marketwire - Sep 9, 2011) - As millions of people around the world pause to remember the heart-wrenching moments of Sept. 11, 2001, hackers, spammers and cyber-criminals are launching their own brand of assaults -- on computers, web sites and social networks worldwide. And next week may bring on the largest wave of 9/11 hacks and scams ever.

In 2001, the online world was a much less sophisticated place. Since then, new tools have increased the complexity of spam, scams and malware. New groups such as Anonymous have publicly promoted hacking as a civil disobedience tool, and the criminal world is seeing opportunities for profit that may eventually exceed drug trafficking and other rackets. Indeed, the online world is a much more dangerous place now.

"Because of the advancement of hacking and spamming technology over the past decade, plus the significance of the anniversary and increased media coverage, Sept. 11 this year may prove hectic on the malware front," said Catalin Cosoi, head of online threats lab at Bitdefender, an award-winning provider of innovative Internet security solutions.

According to early Bitdefender observations and past trends around this date, the first wave of attacks comes in the form of quickly erected web sites studded with terms such as "bin Laden alive," "in depth details about the terrorist attack," "police investigation results" and "towers going down" to attract the curious and the mourners. These sites are often spiked with links that, if clicked, spread malicious software to the unsuspecting, potentially stealing private details, damaging software, or luring the user into a fraud scam.

Another commonly observed fraud around the attacks is the charity scam. Crooks are particularly detail-oriented when impersonating trusted charity organizations, with their fraudulent websites and e-mails proving difficult to differentiate from the real thing. The close copies of correspondence and sites from real charities often persuade Internet surfers to deposit money that will never reach the deserving.

Scammers are also already seeking to take advantage of people looking for memorabilia from the world-changing attacks -- a growing market around the 10th anniversary. Digital deceivers are already advertising fake collector's items such as shards of metal from the tower structure or even commemorative coins advertised as silver collected at the attack scene on disposable web sites.

"This date marks another opportunity for scammers to spread malicious software, defraud people and circulate spam messages by tugging on their heartstrings," Cosoi said. "Unfortunately, it now means that people who want to solemnly commemorate the tragedy must also keep a lookout for scammers when online."

About Bitdefender®
Bitdefender is the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified internet security software. Since 2001, Bitdefender has been an industry pioneer, introducing and developing award-winning protection technologies. Every day, Bitdefender secures the digital experience of tens of millions of home and corporate users across the globe. Bitdefender solutions are distributed by a global network of value-added distribution and reseller partners in countries across the world.

Recently, the company has won a range of key independent recommendations in the US, UK and across Europe, including ConsumerSearch, Which?, Stiftung Warentest and Taenk. Bitdefender antivirus technology has also finished top in leading industry tests from both AV Test and AV-Comparatives. More information about Bitdefender and its products is available from the company's security solutions press room. Additionally, Bitdefender publishes Malware City providing the latest updates on security threats and helping users stay informed in the everyday battle against malware.

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