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[UPDATE #1 at 12:15PM: Added more information about location of earthquake and prior scams. AG]
We have just heard about the early September 4 (Saturday morning) earthquake near Christchurch, New Zealand, currently estimated at a Richter magnitude of 7.4. Our New Zealand distributor in Auckland is unaffected, but communications with the area are difficult.
As with any tragedy these days, we expect malware authors to take advantage of Black Hat Search Engine Optimization (BHSEO), also known as “search poisoning,” to distribute their creations. Likewise, we can expect that scammers will try to take advantage of this tragedy by soliciting donations and other scams through phishing emails and spam on social networking sites. We have seen this in the past with the Haitian earthquake and subsequent relief efforts, as well as with other natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes.
We recommend only visiting reputable news sites and charity organizations when trying to learn more about this tragedy or for information on how to assist with relief efforts.
Customers in the affected region who require assistance with their ESET software can contact ESET’s European headquarters or United States office.
Aryeh Goretsky, MVP, ZCSE
Author Aryeh Goretsky, ESET