PC Tools recently discovered a social-engineering attack that uses trickery rather than a software flaw to access victim's valuable information. It is a new program that can mimic online flirtation and then extract personal information from its unsuspecting conversation partners. The program is believed to be making the rounds in Russian chat forums such as CyberLover. According to PC Tools, the "bot" cannot be easily distinguished from a real potential suitor, and the software can work quickly establishing up to 10 relationships in 30 minutes. It then compiles a report on every person it meets complete with name, contact information, and photos, which then may be made available for fraudulent activities. "Although the program is currently targeting Russian Web sites, PC Tools is urging people in chat rooms and social networks elsewhere to be on the alert for such attacks. Their recommendations amount to just good sense in general, such as avoiding giving out personal information and using an alias when chatting online."
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