Thu, Dec 25, 2008 - Page 12 News List

TrendMicro reveals hackers’ top 10 tricks to get data

NAUGHTY, NOT NICEUnsuspecting online shoppers could have their personal information stolen by hackers if they don’t exercise some caution

By Elizabeth Tchii  /  STAFF REPORTER

TrendMicro Inc (趨勢科技), the nation’s top software company, yesterday published a list of the top 10 ways hackers commit identity theft involving unsuspecting online shoppers during the holiday season.

As the public goes online to purchase Christmas or New Year’s presents, hackers find ways to infect both business and personal computers, as well as steal personal information from Internet shoppers, the computer security company said in a release.

Internet criminals often create false online stores to lure shoppers with incredible discounts or promotions. An example is a false advertisement for Apple Inc’s popular iPhone that attracted shoppers to make a purchase on a fake site and infected their computers with the malicious TROJ_AYFONE.A virus to steal credit card and personal information, TrendMicro said.

The second tactic hackers use is to spam charity contribution e-mail lists and lure donors to a fake site, taking advantage of people’s generosity during the holidays.

The third method is sending out online holiday cards and prompting recipients to open links to another site or browser, thus infecting them with viruses.

Other methods hackers use, TrendMicro said, include posting false savings ads and online surveys on high-traffic sites, using false keywords such as “Christmas gift shopping” or “Halloween costumes,” as well as linking shoppers to online sellers with false feedback, the report said.

Malicious software embedded in delivery company emails and online receipts are also creative means by which these criminals carry out their attacks.

MicroTrend recommends using a reputable anti-virus software as well as Internet safety software to prevent digital data theft on both personal and business computers.

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