Posts Categorized: social engineering


Compromised legitimate Web sites expose users to malicious Java/Symbian/Android “Browser Updates”

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We’ve just intercepted a currently active malicious campaign, relying on redirectors placed at compromised/hacked legitimate Web sites, for the purpose of hijacking the legitimate traffic and directly exposing it to multi mobile OS based malicious/fraudulent content. In this particular case, a bogus “Browser Update“, which in reality is a premium rate SMS malware.

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Fake ‘October’s Billing Address Code’ (BAC) form themed spam campaign leads to malware

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Have you received a casual-sounding email enticing you into signing a Billing Address Code (BAC) form for October, in order for the Payroll Manager to proceed with the transaction? Based on our statistics, tens of thousands of users received these malicious spam emails over the last 24 hours, with the cybercriminal(s) behind them clearly interested in expanding the size of their botnet through good old fashioned ‘casual social engineering’ campaigns.

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Fake ‘MMS Gallery’ notifications impersonate T-Mobile U.K, expose users to malware

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Over the last two months, we’ve been closely monitoring — and proactively protecting from — the malicious campaigns launched by cybercriminals who are no strangers to the concept of social engineering topic rotation. Their purpose is to extend a campaign’s life cycle, or to generally increase a botnet’s infected population by spamming out tens of thousands of fake emails, exposing users to malicious software. The most recent campaign launched by the same cybercriminal(s), is once again impersonating T-Mobile U.K in an attempt to trick mobile users into thinking that they’ve received a legitimate MMS Gallery notification. In reality though, once the […]

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Cybercriminals impersonate HSBC through fake ‘payment e-Advice’ themed emails, expose users to malware

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HSBC customers, watch what you execute on your PCs. A circulating malicious spam campaign attempts to socially engineer you into thinking that you’ve received a legitimate ‘payment e-Advice’. In reality, once you execute the attachment, your PC automatically joins the botnet operated by the cybercriminal(s) behind the campaign.

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Fake WhatsApp ‘Voice Message Notification’ themed emails expose users to malware

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We’ve just intercepted a currently circulating malicious spam campaign impersonating WhatsApp — yet again — in an attempt to trick its users into thinking that they’ve received a voice mail. Once socially engineered users execute the malicious attachment found in the fake emails, their PCs automatically join the botnet operated by the cybercriminal(s) behind the campaign.

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Fake ‘Annual Form (STD-261) – Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicle on State Business’ themed emails lead to malware

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Want to file for mileage reimbursement through a STD-261 form? You may want to skip the tens of thousands of malicious emails currently in circulation, attempting to trick users into executing the malicious attachment. Once downloaded, your PC automatically joins the botnet operated by the cybercriminal(s) behind the campaign, undermining the confidentiality and integrity of the host.

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Web site of Brazilian ‘Prefeitura Municipal de Jaqueira’ compromised, leads to fake Adobe Flash player

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Our sensors just picked up an interesting Web site infection that’s primarily targeting Brazilian users. It appears that the Web site of the Brazilian Jaqueira prefecture has been compromised, and is exposing users to a localized (to Portuguese) Web page enticing them into installing a malicious version of Adobe’s Flash player. Not surprisingly, we’ve also managed to identify approximately 63 more Brazilian Web sites that are victims to the same infection.

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Popular French torrent portal tricks users into installing the BubbleDock/Downware/DownloadWare PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application)

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A typical campaign attempting to trick users into installing Potentially Unwanted Software (PUA), would usually consist of a single social engineering vector, which on the majority of cases would represent something in the lines of a catchy “Play Now/Missing Video Plugin” type of advertisement. Not the one we’ll discuss in this blog post. Relying on deceptive “visual social engineering” practices, a popular French torrent portal is knowingly — the actual directory structure explicitly says /fakeplayer — enticing users into installing the BubbleDock/Downware/DownloadWare PUA. What kind of social engineering tactics is the portal relying on? Let’s find out.

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Deceptive ads lead to the SpyAlertApp PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application)

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Whenever a user gets socially engineered, they unknowingly undermine the confidentiality and integrity of their system, as well as any proactive protection they have in place, in exchange for quick gratification or whatever it is they are seeking. This is exactly how unethical companies entice unsuspecting victims to download their new “unheard of” applications. They promise users the moon, and only ask in return that users install a basic free application. Case in point, our sensors picked up yet another deceptive ad campaign that entices users into installing privacy violating applications, most commonly known as PUAs or Potentially Unwanted Applications.

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