Beware of ISIS Defacements and Fake Government Sites

Security News

Internet has never been a completely safe place and if you are not careful enough, you could be tricked by one of many online scams that it contains. A relatively new fraudulent activity that you should be aware of is carried out by ISIS sympathizers. They target WordPress websites and the communication platforms of commercial entities, news organizations, religious institutions and so on. A number of domestic and international sites are attacked by the cyber criminals that exploit flaws in WordPress plug-ins. Security updates created for these vulnerabilities are already available.

Beware of ISIS Defacements and Fake Government Sites Beware of ISIS Defacements and Fake Government Sites

A public service announcement issued by the FBI states that several extremist hacking groups are planning on participating in an #OpIsrael operation that will target Israeli and Jewish webpages on the Holocaust Remembrance Day. These groups, which are usually located in North Africa and the Middle East, are recruiting new members for this operation. They conduct anti-Israeli and anti-Western operations regularly, so if you have a website that is powered by WordPress or a similar content management system make sure that it is up-to-date and apply the new fixes for your plug-ins immediately.

Another threat that was discussed in an unrelated PSA is fake government websites. The malicious sites take advantage of search engines and appear as the first suggestions when searching for government services. When a computer user enters the fake page, he is presented with a form that is supposedly required for said government service. Once the user completes it, he is asked to pay a fee which usually ranges from $29 to $199. In most cases the scam continues even after the victim makes the payment. The cyber criminals claim that you also need to send over other personally-identifiable information such as birth certificate, employee badge, driver’s license and more.

The consequences that follow a scam of this nature are quite severe. The victim may have charges billed to their card, third-party designee added to their Employer Identification Number, and so on. The harm will be even greater for those who provided the cyber crooks with additional personal details.

In order to avoid this scam and keep your private data safe, you should research the sites before using them. Search for negative comments or other feedback about the government company and their webpage. Fake sites usually do not have any reviews, because they do not last long on the Internet. You can use WHOIS site registration record search that will help you to reveal malicious webpages that have been recently put on the Web.

As for your computer’s safety, you should always have a reliable anti-malware utility installed. Malware prevention and removal tools are the only way to be sure that you are properly protected from various online parasites like Trojans, spyware, worms, adware, browser hijackers and so on.

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