You Knew They Were Coming: Hurricane Ida Scam Domains
Giving death and taxes a run for their money in the definitions for ‘certainty’ are the sketchy domains that now inevitably sprout up in the aftermath of any major natural disaster. Hurricane Ida has been no different. Watching the phrase “hurricaneida” in DomainTools PhishEye yielded the expected domains over the past few days, and further investigations into some of them in DomainTools Iris have boosted confidence that these are domains to avoid.
The DomainTools Risk Score values for these domains (and many others that don’t fit neatly into a screenshot) show a lot of characteristics consistent with online risks, particularly phishing. While we can’t say conclusively that these domains, or the websites that some of them point to, are illicit, the record over the years has shown that a lot of false charity and claim sites are created after disasters. A time of great human suffering and need is a terrible occasion for scams, of course, but that is the online world we occupy for the time being. If you are interested in helping those affected, it’s generally safest to stick with well-established charitable organizations such as the American Red Cross, Project Hope, or the Salvation Army. There are also focused organizations, well-established long before this storm, such as Second Harvest Food Bank, All Hands and Hearts, Culture Aid NOLA, and AirLink worth your consideration (h/t to the New York Times for these last four).
Stay safe out there!