Hot job seekers and global career junkies, beware! Cyber criminals have broken through to the popular global job site, Monster.com, with computer viruses aimed at stealing names, addresses and bank account numbers.
But there is no ground for panic yet. The Indian arm of Monster Worldwide Inc, Monsterindia.com, had little to say on Wednesday after malicious software programmes were detected by computer security firm Symantec. A spokesman said the Hyderabad-based unit could make a statement on Thursday. Sources close to the company said India was not majorly affected, though there was officially no word.
Bloomberg reported that the malicious programmes started to be downloaded by unsuspecting customers last month. Customers got a first virus by following a link in a fraudulent e-mail, Symantec said on its website.
Symantec cited examples of alluring e-mails sent to job-seekers, fraudulently using tags of Careerbuilder.com and Monster.com. These e-mails read like juicy job offers but trigger a “phishing” attack when a Web link in the mail is clicked, and the malicious programme, like a thief, begins unloading personal data and uploading it to a remote computer. Phishing is a criminal activity.
Phishers attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information by posing as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Online auction site eBay and internet financial site PayPal are two of the most targeted companies.
Symantec said the virus collected e-mail addresses of job seekers and recruiters. Those were used for a second attack asking customers to download a fake job-seeking tool. The viruses included codes that monitor online access to banks, blocks access to files and leaves a ransom note.
Monster Worldwide, based in New York, has been working to halt the collection of customers’ information, said Patrick W. Manzo, vice president of compliance and fraud prevention.