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Cybercriminals Enlist Preschoolers to Help Install Malware

by Dave on September 25, 2011

screenshots of games loaded with malware

Screenshots of games loaded with malware

Letting preschoolers on a computer is not a good idea. Letting them or an older sibling download anything unsupervised is a recipe for disaster. If parents need a reason to be wary of such activities, keep reading.

According to a recent article in MalwareCity.com (http://ow.ly/6DYs1) cybercriminals are now creating online games suitable for preschoolers that come preloaded with malware. The goal of course is to gain access to banking information and clean out Mom and Dad’s bank account.

Here’s a quote from that article.

Games that invite kids to nurture online kittens, allow them to brightly color pumpkins and witches, or “spot the differences” between two similar images, are being laced with malware that could give scammers access to the kids’ parents financial data or recruit the kids’ computers into international networks, or botnets, aimed at further criminal activity.

Analysts from security firm BitDefender recently found several examples of such games. The same firm did an online survey in July, asking about kids and computers. The results are eye-opening:

… about 46.6 percent of children in the U.S. and the U.K. have their own social network accounts and that 24.7 percent of parents don’t monitor their kids’ online activity. Of the 1,649 adults surveyed, 44.3 percent said their children had accessed sites that they shouldn’t have.

The danger here is that the Internet contains its fair share of dark alleys, and predators looking for easy prey. Until kids develop an healthy appreciation for the dangers lurking beneath the surface of the Internet, they shouldn’t be left alone there.

If you know any parents, consider sending them this article.

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