Four days after the carnage at Virginia Tech University, international cyber security experts have issued warnings about an imminent phishing attack that cheats internet users into making donations for the victims of the deadliest campus shootout in US history.
Phishing means attempts to fraudulently acquire sensitive information like usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity over the internet.
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team has warned internet users of phishing attacks from sites claiming to collect donations for Virginia shootout victims. Internet safety watchers began reporting a spurt in domain name registration related to the tragedy. At least 50 new websites were registered in the last few days with names like vatechshooting.com and vatechshooting.net.
The Internet Storm Center — that tracks malafide attacks on the internet — reported that while some of these are well-intentioned, others are likely to be opportunists. "The phishing emails may appear as requests for donations from a charitable organisation asking users to click on a link that will then take them to a fraudulent website that appears to be a legitimate charity," said a senior official in the Ministry of information technology, on condition of anonymity.