Valentines Bearing a Virus Not So Loving

While the whole world is gearing up for a mushy weekend, Imperva is warning consumers to go easy on the word love. People still remember the I LOVE YOU virus that infected machines a decade ago but they still have not stopped using "iloveyou" as their password.


g to Imperva, "iloveyou" is the fifth most common password, "lovely" is at number 18, "loveu" is number 23 and "loveme" is number 43. Apparently, hackers know this and they are all set to misuse personal information on social networks like Facebook. (See "Creating Secure Passwords You Can Remember" for alternatives.)

Harmful Valentine Messages

Hackers have it all planned out--they will first get a complete list of friends for many users and then proceed to send Valentine messages to all of them. Receivers will unknowingly click on a seemingly harmless Valentine's Card and will get a virus instead of virtual chocolates or roses.

Imperva CTO Amichai Shulman said these harmful campaigns are made successful with sheer numbers because hackers use automation to reach their nefarious goals. An automated tool aids them to scrape 'friends' lists from Facebook and eventually turn them into a phishing mail.

All this can happen in a single click of the mouse according to Shulman who noted the speed with which a virus is spread in computers.

Recommendations from Imperva

Data security specialist Imperva enables a complete security lifecycle for business databases and the applications that use them.

You can definitely fight back, says Imperva, which asks consumers to carefully look up the sender and ensure if the card is legitimate. Logically speaking, friends who have not been in touch for a while are not likely to send intimate cards to you on February 14.

The company warns consumers not to follow links or download software referencing unsolicited spam and encourages users to update their computer with the latest patches. In addition, consumers should also ensure that their anti-virus is enabled and up-to-date.

This story, "Valentines Bearing a Virus Not So Loving" was originally published by MIS Asia.

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