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Cyber Grinches Spread Malware via Holiday-themed Tweets

Cyber Grinches Spread Malware via Holiday-themed Tweets - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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Cyber criminals are exploiting Twitter to spread malware using festive-themed messages and taking advantage of trending topics to position malware distribution campaigns, PandaLabs reports.

With the commencement of the holiday season, topics such as “Advent calendar,” “Hanukkah,” or even “Grinch” have become the most popular subjects used by hackers to entice users.

Thousands of tweets have been launched using holiday-related phrases, such as “Nobody cares about Hanukkah,” or “Shocking video of the Grinch,” along with short URLs sending users off to malicious websites.

Users who click the link will be taken to a page that infects systems with false codecs. These exploit a security hole in PDF files and try to trick users into downloading a codec that is a downloader Trojan, which in turn downloads more malware onto the infected computer.

In addition to holiday-related subjects, cyber criminals are using other hot topics to spread their creations, including the Sundance festival, the AIDS campaign and the Carling Cup.

“Social networks are becoming increasingly popular among hackers as a vehicle for spreading malware,” said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. “Facebook and Twitter are commonly exploited with malicious intent, giving their ever-increasing number of users the false sense of security that they’re safe posting content on these sites. This is why the number of clicks, and therefore infections, tends to be very high.”

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