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News

Identity theft warning in run-up to the Grand National

Webroot Software : 03 April, 2009  (Technical Article)
With the Grand National set to take place this weekend, Webroot is warning users to be cautious in placing online bets when visiting horse racing websites
Webroot urges Internet users to use caution when visiting horse-racing websites and placing online bets in the run up to this year's Grand National taking place on Saturday 4th April, as cyber criminals improve their chances of stealing users' personal information.

Webroot's Threat Research team has reported an increase in the number of keyloggers being rapidly updated by the malware authors who created them. Classified as some of the most dangerous computer security threats, keyloggers can sit quietly on a PC, tracking and recording a user's individual keystrokes, making it easy for spyware criminals to steal personal and financial information such as credit card numbers and passwords.

Nick Banks, Managing Director EMEA of Webroot's Consumer Business Unit explains, "At Webroot, we're seeing a trend that shows cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and dedicated to challenging anti-malware vendors. Since January 2008, 44 percent of the keyloggers identified by our automated threat research method have been updated, while 28 percent of new keyloggers identified so far this year have already been updated. Hackers churn out updates or new variants to get past detection at the desktop, so that they can continue to harvest personal information unchallenged. Our advice to all PC users is to make sure you are running the latest version of a reputable antivirus program or an Internet security suite and practice safe online habits when providing any personal data over the Internet. That includes financial information when betting online."

The Grand National is one of the country's most prestigious horse-racing events and one of the world's greatest sporting spectacles. Each year 40 horses line-up to tackle the four and a half mile, 30-fence, course at Aintree. With such an event comes an increase in online activity due to both watching the horse race and placing bets. Every year, people are directed to the internet to place their bets, and this year many bookmakers are offering new customers free bets worth between £10 and £100 if they bet online.

To help Internet users ensure the safety of their PC and private information, Webroot is offering a free computer scan to check for spyware, viruses and other threatening forms of malware.
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