Bracknell, July 2012
PandaLabs, the antimalware arm of Panda Security, wants to provide security tips to consumers to stay safe and prevent falling victim to computer fraud this summer. During the summer, those with more spare time on their hands, especially children, use their computers and connect to the Internet more frequently, which increases the risk of falling victim to some kind of malicious code.
One of the latest new forms of scams involves sending fake flight confirmation emails. The potential victim receives a fake confirmation for some ‘recently purchased tickets’ with instructions to open an attachment in order to view the ticket. The file, however, is a Trojan of the Sinowal family designed to steal users’ confidential information.
Screenshot of Sinowal Trojan available here: http://press.pandasecurity.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/sinowal.jpg
“In the summer, lots of people book flights online to get to their holiday destinations,” said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. “Cyber-crooks are taking advantage of this situation to send a new wave of fake emails aimed at tricking users into opening the attachments and infect their computers.”
This is just a single example of how cybercriminals try to get your creditcard and login details. Be careful with any suspicious emails claiming to offer 2012 Olympic tickets, a tax rebate, or account issues from you bank - always use common sense if unsure.
Security Tips for Your Summer Vacation
PandaLabs is continually analyzing the latest Internet trends, and with this in mind, offers the following advice to help safeguard users’ security this season:
* Use caution with social networking sites - Unfortunately, some people give out too much information about their holiday plans on social networking sites, to the point that criminals sometimes know when someone is away on a holiday. Don’t share this private information on social networks and check your privacy settings carefully.
* Parental Control - Children spend more time in front of computers while on holiday. Installing a good parental control program on the computer will help minimize children’s vulnerability on the Internet.
* Avoid using a shared computer - Many people prefer to leave their computers at home while on holiday, and use public PCs in Internet cafés or hotels to access their social network accounts or perform different types of transactions. If that’s your case, prevent identity theft by making sure your account doesn’t automatically save your password and user ID. Also, make sure the computer is malware-free. If you suspect the computer’s security has been compromised by a virus, leave it and use another. Take care when connecting an external device to the computer, as it may become infected without your knowledge.
* Take care with email - Email is one of the main virus entry points, so pay special attention to it. Do not open messages from unknown senders or click on dubious links.
* Beware of public WiFi networks - you could be hooking up to a network set up by hackers to steal any information that you share across the Internet. When you connect to email, social networking sites or online stores, make sure you are using a secure connection (https), so that traffic is encrypted and no one else can access the information.
* Keep your computer up-to-date - Malware seeks to exploit existing security holes in systems to infect them. Make sure all necessary security patches and updates are properly installed.
* Protect your computer - Make sure you have reliable, up-to-date protection installed on your computer. There are many free, reliable solutions on the market, like Panda Cloud Antivirus, available for download at www.cloudantivirus.com.
“Follow our tips and enjoy your summer vacation with peace of mind. Just as you lock all doors and windows before going on vacation, you should also take great care to protect your digital world,” added Corrons.
Since 1990, PandaLabs, Panda Security’s malware research laboratory, has been working to detect and classify malware in order to protect consumers and companies against new Internet threats. To do so, PandaLabs uses Collective Intelligence, a cloud-based proprietary system that leverages the knowledge gathered from Panda’s user community to automatically detect, analyse and classify the more than 73,000 new malware strains that appear every day. This automated malware classification is complemented through the work of an international team with researchers specialized each in a specific type of malware (viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and other attacks) to provide global coverage. Get more information about PandaLabs and subscribe to its blog news feed at http://pandalabs.pandasecurity.com/.
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