As the Hurricane Matthew batters the South Carolina coast, authorities are warning of a series of cyber attacks against residents.
Cyber criminals have no scruples and are ready to bring in any tragic event in their favor. In the past crooks exploited the media interest in tragic events like the Boston Marathon attack and the crash of the flight MH17 of Malaysian Airline, they used the news as bait themes for massive spam attacks and spear phishing campaigns.
In these hours the Hurrican Matthew is sowing death and destruction in its path and of course, the media are giving a significant attention to the updates on the situation in the area interested by the natural disaster.
Cyber criminals know it very well and are trying to exploit the situation.
As the Hurricane Matthew batters the South Carolina coast, law enforcement agencies are warning of a series of cyber attacks against residents that leverage on emails that pretend to provide an update on the situation, in particular, information about local flooding.
Gov. Nikki Haley explained during a press conference Saturday that overnight someone launched the malicious campaign.
Gov. Haley: Serious situation going on overnight – cyber attack. Emails going out telling people to click for flooding info. It’s an attack
“People will start receiving emails and they will tell you they have updates on outages and if you want to know the update on outages, click here,” reported the Live 5 News, mentioning the Haley’s statements.”Once you click there, they get into your computer.”
Of course, the crooks are conducting a phishing campaign, malicious messages could include links to compromised websites that serve malware of malicious attachments that once opened could start the infection process on the victim’s machine.
Even it is a local alarm, it is likely that cyber criminals will use the same tactic to target computer across the world.
Be careful, do not open attachments and do not click on the links included in unsolicited emails, keep your OS and application updated and install a defense software.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.