Surely long before Hurricane Dean made landfall early this morning as the first Category 5 hurricane to affect the Atlantic Basin since Andrew in 1992, web domain hunters had already picked up a number of storm-related URLs.
The SANS Internet Storm Center, as their handlers always do, were keeping a close eye on the new web addresses.
Because as we've learned with previous natural disasters, namely Katrina and the Asian tsunami, many of the purchasers are not just looking to turn a quick buck by selling the names to the highest bidder. Many, in fact, may be using the sites to host some sort of phishing scheme.
Of course, with Dean's strongest fury ravaging an under-populated section of Mexico, the window of opportunity for such a scam with this storm may be closing fast. In fact, many of these domains likely will stay parked and inactive.
But, as always, be on the lookout. If there's money to make, the scammers will be there.
Also - what better event than a huge hurricane to bring more of the "storm worm" trojan to inboxes worldwide? So expect to see botnets continue to grow as users fall for some storm-related gimmick, like a news story.
And let this latest hurricane also be a reminder to check those business continuity/disaster recovery policies. Should a Cat 5 hit the U.S. and your company is unprepared - forget about it. You could be finished.