2009 will probably be remembered as the year that the H1N1, or swine flu, virus hit the world. It has caused a worldwide panic since it's been spreading through schools, workplaces and households like wildfire.
As if that isn't bad enough, it's also been causing problems virtually.
The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) is now having to issue warnings about phishing emails that claim to be sent by the organization. They are definitely getting the attention of the recipients, of course, since the emails discuss a state vaccination program. So many have lined up to get the shot (with a good number being refused due to shortages), so I'm sure there are people out there who would be more than willing to follow the instructions in the email by creating a personal H1N1 vaccination profile.
The program is non-existent and, instead of getting protection against the H1N1 virus, people are being directed to a fraudulent site that puts there computer at risk of contracting ZBot (also known as Zeus), a trojan horse that powers one of the most active botnets. Personal data about the user can then be gathered and sent back to the botnet operator.
How nasty. If H1N1 doesn't get you in real life, thieves are exploiting the fear caused by this virus to infect you online. It's very important to have up-to-date security solutions and to only follow links and open attachments from trusted sources.
Tip for Absolute corporate customers: You can use your Computrace reporting tools to determine if your devices have the latest patches and antivirus software installed.