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Working on the Holidays

30
Nov
2011

While the United States enjoyed a long Thanksgiving weekend, hackers continued to battle Web security. Fortunately, the automated WebsenseR ThreatSeekerR Network and staff elsewhere in the world ensured that systems and data stayed safe. 

Websense researchers working over the holidays identified emerging threats hijacking the holiday spirit. Over 40% of 170 popular Thanksgiving-related search terms had malicious links containing script injections in the top search results. These script injections use exploit kits to take advantage of vulnerabilities in plugins such as Flash and Acrobat and install malicious software on the client computer. 

Tracking the holidays on the social Web showed significantly higher volumes of tweets per second on Thanksgiving than Black Friday, with the majority of Black Friday tweets also happening late Thanksgiving evening. We also saw double the number of links shared about Thanksgiving compared to Black Friday.

Clearly, successful hackers understand the subtleties of human behavior just as well as they understand the inner workings of computer systems. 

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