Cyberscams on the rise

Criminals want access to your computer and data Keystone

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.

This content was published on May 4, 2012 minutes and agencies

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.

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