The election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, better known as Pope Francis, to the highest hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church became a trending topic all over the television, papers and online community. The news hit like a tidal wave all over the media following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and after the papal conclave attended by Roman Catholic cardinals all over the world.
Before Pope Francis’ ascension to the highest position in the large religious sect and as the leader of the sovereign State of Vatican City, he was unknown to many except in his native land, which is Argentina, and to the people who encountered him prior. Of course, many people all over the world were curious as to who he is as a person and his background. So, as a way to feed their minds, they turn to the Internet for information.
Unknown to these people, they might easily become a target of hackers who circulate email scams. This was confirmed recently by Symantec malware hunters at the website of LiveScience.
According to the news source, the email scams sent by hackers usually have intriguing subjects in order to lure the recipient into opening it and for the receiver to visit the site indicated in the body of the message.
Among the favorite subjects used by the sneaky hackers are connecting the new Pope to sex scandals during his early years in service or abuses in authority during his tenure as a cardinal. Then, one of the popular subjects is the “New Pope Sued for not Wearing Seat Belt in Popemobile” which shows the ingenuity or sense of humor of the scam senders.
Aside from the subjects that will likely lure victims into opening their emails, the account names where the messages originated include names of famous cable companies and news networks to appear that the sender actually has credibility.
In addition, the malware hunters traced that many of them come from a Russia-based website which is embedded with a Blackhole exploit kit. What does it do? The Blackhole program gets downloaded and installed in your system the minute you enter the website indicated in the link of the email scam. After that, it either infects you with programs that suck every important information from your computer or tools that will enable the hacker to gain control of your machine.
How to Prevent This
Symantec recommends that you only open messages from trusted sources. Avoid accessing emails from people you do not know or those that are spammy in nature.
Next, equip your computer with a reliable anti-virus or anti-malware tool. Naturally, Symantec cleverly recommends their own product for this purpose.
Lastly, be very careful when browsing through the Internet. Avoid clicking links from unknown sources and pop-up ads no matter how awesome or intriguing their promises appear to be. Visit only visit sites with actual authority on the subject that you want to search for. So, for instance, if you want to get the latest in terms of gadgets and other technology-related topics, visit The Droid Guy and other authority sites.