Cybercriminals constantly find ways to exploit software vulnerabilities and user negligence to install malware or extract confidential information. While some of the scams have become common, cybercriminals tend to repackage, refine and make use of new themes to defraud users. In the recent times, cybercriminals have been quick to exploit events such as Royal Wedding and Osama bin Laden's death. Cybercriminals try to lead users to malicious and fake sites through phishing, SEO poisoning and other techniques. One of the scams involves enticing customers to purchase fake anti-virus software. Internet security firm Trend Micro has identified a trend wherein cybercriminals attempt to monetize their schemes by creating accounts with FAKEAV affiliates. The affiliates provide URLs to the landing pages, which display fake anti-virus scanners. Researchers identified that most of the domain names are propagated within two days of their registration. Unwary Internet users, who click on a malicious link are redirected to a fake website, wherein they get a false virus alert and are enticed to purchase the fake scanner. The income generated is shared between the affiliates and other cybercriminals.
Security researchers at Sophos recently identified a scam, wherein Internet users allegedly receive an e-mail from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The cleverly crafted e-mail by scammers attempts to scare users by informing them that their IP address has been logged on several illegal websites. The e-mail asks users to respond to their questions listed on the attached zip file.
When susceptible Internet users download the file, they inadvertently download malicious software. The malware then alerts uses that their computers are infected with malware. The e-mail scares users to purchase counterfeit anti-virus scanners to safeguard their computers. Users are required to enter the names, addresses, credit card number, card expiry date and other personally identifiable information.
Internet users must be wary of social engineering schemes used by cybercriminals to extract sensitive information. They must avoid responding to e-mails from strangers. They must directly visit the website of a legitimate vendor to purchase and download anti-virus solution and programs. Social engineering techniques are also used to entice employees of an organization to reveal sensitive business information. Employees must be guided on the various security threats through training sessions, huddle meetings, e-learning programs and encouraging them to undertake online computer degree
Security professionals qualified in IT masters degree
may enable an organization to identify emerging Internet-based threats, update IT security policy and ensure proper adherence to security guidelines by employees. online technology degree programs may help IT professionals to update themselves on latest information security practices, and monitoring mechanisms.