Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Under attack

Cyberscams on the rise

Criminals want access to your computer and data (Keystone)

Criminals want access to your computer and data


Internet phishing attacks, attempted fraud and malware holding web users to ransom are becoming more common, according to the Swiss Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance.

In its latest semi-annual report which covers the second half of 2011 (but provides no figures), the government service said that scammers claiming to be IT support staff had gained access to people’s computers and the data stored on them, including credit card numbers.

Hackers accessing e-mail accounts were also able to send out messages claiming that the account owner was supposedly stranded abroad without any money and asking for help from people in the contact list of the stolen account.

Some users were also held to ransom at the end of 2011 in Switzerland. Computers infected by a certain type of malware displayed a message supposedly sent by Germany’s federal police or the Swiss justice department claiming that illegal software was on the machine. A fine of up to SFr150 ($164) was to be paid to avoid the computer being blocked and the hard drive being reformatted.

Politicians were also targets. One member of the House of Representatives had tweets sent in his name during the last cabinet election giving results before they were announced, while another had her personal domain name taken over and used to sell bikinis. The rightwing Swiss People’s Party saw its website attacked again.

swissinfo.ch and agencies



All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.