Scammers targeting Japan tsunami, earthquake disaster

Scammers "think nothing of capitalising off human misery"

Scammers have wasted no time in capitalising on the earthquake and tsunami in Japan with security firm Sophos reporting a rise in phishing and search engine poisoning attacks.

“As we've seen on far too many occasions before, scammers think nothing of capitalising off human misery,” a post from Sophos’ senior technology consultant Graham Cluley reads. “And the disaster which has struck Japan in the last few days is no different in that regard.”

The firm is advising people to take care when searching for news about the disaster.

“Hackers often poison search engine results to exploit breaking news, in order to spread malware,” the post reads. “Visit legitimate news websites only if you want to keep up-to-date on developing news stories.”

Additionally it is warning people to be wary of possible phishing attempts, particularly around donating funds to victims and providing links to what is claimed to be dramatic footage of the disaster.

“In the past, scammers have often take advantage of a natural disaster,” the post reads. “This not only benefits criminals, but deprives the people who need financial support the most from receiving charitable donations.

“Being cautious of links which offer you dramatic video footage of a news story. Malicious hackers and scammers know that the public finds it hard to resist clicking on such links and can plant malware and scams at the end of them.”

The firm has also commended the [[artnid: 379963 |use of extra security for social networking sites|new]] to combat the rise of attacks targeting user profiles.

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