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WatchGuard Details The Threats Associated With The World Cup

WatchGuard Technologies : 11 June, 2010  (Technical Article)
The FIFA World Cup kicks off with cyber-criminals exploiting public interest with a host of on-line threats described in a report from WatchGuard Technologies including SEO Poisoning, Spam and social networking based threats
WatchGuard security analysts see an explosive growth of online threats relating to the 2010 World Cup, which kicks off today and runs to July 11. IT administrators should be aware of these World Cup threats and take appropriate action to mitigate their effects. Key threat findings:

• Spam - WatchGuard sees a global increase in spam using World Cup as the theme. In addition to traditional marketing spam, there is an increase in malicious spam with pernicious payloads such as spyware, or spam that lures users to malware-laden websites.
• Spear Phishing - WatchGuard sees a multitude of spear phishing threats targeting World Cup ticket holders and related World Cup businesses. Spear phishing attacks target small groups with socially engineered messages to entice victims to open an executable file or click to a site that harbours malware.
• PDF attacks - Withvulnerabilities associated with PDF documents beginning to surface, administrators may want to use PDF file blocking features for the next 30 days, or until a patch is issued, to protect against these new zero-day threats.
• SEO Poisoning - Search engine optimization (SEO) threats have allowed malicious websites to be highly ranked in search strings relating to the World Cup. These poisoned websites can be avoided by using up-to-date gateway anti-virus and intrusion prevention solutions.
• Loss of productivity - Traffic shaping tools and other forms of content filtering can be used to limit or eliminate access to World Cup related sites and online content.
• Social networks - Lastly, WatchGuard warns of malware that may be propagated through popular social networks. Content filtering and file blocking solutions should be tuned to reduce threats related to social networks and the World Cup.

"Cybercriminals are always looking at new ways to lure businesses and people into dangerous places, and often they use major events as tools to snare their victims," said Eric Aarrestad, Vice President at WatchGuard Technologies. "WatchGuard provides complete business security solutions that allow people to enjoy the World Cup online, and simultaneously, be protected from those who use it for criminal gains."
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