For those who may be scrolling through dating or hook-up apps on this coming Valentine’s Day, the New York Post is cautioning that such behavior may put them at risk.
IBM’s X-Force, a threat intelligence service, notes that since January an “especially aggressive robot network of 6 million ‘zombie bots’” has been ramping up and is looking to unleash itself bigtime on Valentine’s Day.
— zombie news bot (@zombienewsbot) February 12, 2018
The bots are forecasted to use enticing photos, alluring phrases and a friendly manner to lure singles into forking over money or exposing themselves to malware.
Viruses from Valentine’s Day are not just from physical interactions anymore.
X-Force has noted that since Jan. 16, American email in-boxes have been flooded by 230 million dating-spam messages. An expected ratcheting up of emails is said to be the work of a botnet known as Necurs.
“Preying on seasonal trends is probably the top characteristic of e-mail spam,” X-Force said in a statement. “Those behind this campaign will likely lure their victims to share revealing photos and extort them, ask for money to come visit, or end up infecting them with malware.”
Based on information from X-Force, the current Necurs campaign features “Russian women”, but supposedly some of Necurs agents live in the United States and are increasingly using Facebook and Badoo (a Russian dating app with an international audience) to pilfer the American market.
The Post offers these tips to help in avoiding being a victim. It is advised that dating app users look for:
- Bad grammar
- A too-good-to-be-true come-on, like “I must say you are very cute and I would like to know you more!”
- An e-mail return address differs from the arrival address.
Do you use dating apps and, if so, will you be on one this Valentine’s Day?
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