Posts Categorized: social engineering


Shipping Confirmations Back on the Radar

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After a prolonged absence, waves of Trojans distributed as Zipped email attachments have been showing up in our spam traps for a few weeks. The spam messages employ the same hackneyed shipping confirmation pretext as many previous iterations of this scam. This technique’s emergence as a common malware distribution method correlates with the emergence of Trojan-Downloader-Tacticlol. The messages claim to come from various express shippers, including DHL, UPS, and FedEx, as well as one that may have originated in a malware guy’s imagination: Post Express. And even though the distribution method mimics those used by Tacticlol, the payloads haven’t been […]

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Spammed YouTube Comments Promote Adware – Successfully

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(Update, July 11, 2011:  On May 25, 2011, we were contacted by representatives of Future Ads, LLC, the parent company of both Playsushi and Gamevance.  Future Ads informed us that they, too, had been victims of a scam perpetrated by rogue affiliates who seemed to be involved with the malicious campaigns we described in this post.  Future Ads claims that it has taken action to prevent this type of abuse from happening in the future.) By Curtis Fechner and Andrew Brandt I was poking around at the end of the work day last week, checking out the newly-released trailer for […]

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Shorty Worm Spams Links, Hijacks Browsers

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A novel worm we’re calling Worm-IM-Shorty appears to be winding its way through Facebook and some instant messaging services, with its come-on disguised as a link to a photograph hosted elsewhere. But when recipients click the link, they receive an executable Trojan instead, dressed up with the name and icon of a JPEG image. If one double-clicks the file, the Trojan turns the computer into an advertising cash cow for some enterprising malware distributor. The Trojan modifies the active browser’s home page setting to a malicious page on domredi.com, which in turn redirects the browser, at random, to one of […]

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New Bank Phisher Brings Added Functionality, Problems

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I didn’t want to let too much time pass before I wrote about a new Zbot-like bank phishing Trojan variant that came across my desk last week. The keylogger started arriving the first week of February as an attachment to a spam email designed to look like it came from United Parcel Service. No, the old malware trope of spammed shipping invoices is not dead yet, Alice, but we’re going to follow this one down the rabbit hole anyhow. The brief message had a Subject line of “United Parcel Service notification” followed by a random, five-digit number, and a file […]

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Fishing for Phishers is a Full-Time Job

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By Ian Moyse, EMEA Channel Director We seem to take phishing attacks for granted these days, in much the same way that we’ve accepted spam as a natural, and inevitable, by-product of email. Some experts believe that one of the best solutions to thwart phishing attacks is end-user training, but I doubt training alone can be a viable solution. Can we really train every computer user to be sufficiently security literate, such that anyone can distinguish a phishing message from a genuine bank email? I doubt that it is possible, especially given how specific the details in spear phishing (phishing […]

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Malicious PHP Scripts on the Rise

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Last week, I gave a talk at the RSA Security Conference about malicious PHP scripts. For those who can’t attend the conference, I wanted to give you a glimpse into this world to which, until last year, I hadn’t paid much attention. My normal week begins with a quick scan of malware lists — URLs that point to new samples — that come from a variety of public sources. I started noticing an increasing number of non-executable PHP and Perl scripts appearing on those lists and decided to dig a little deeper. In a lot of ways, PHP is an […]

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Tips to Avoid Tax Season Scams

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By Jeff Horne, Director, Threat Research As tax season rolls around again in the US and UK, it seems like a good time to revisit the perils taxpayers face seemingly every year at around this time. Phishing attacks against taxpayers are already in full swing — not that they haven’t been going continuously since last year. But this is high season for scams involving Web pages that look like the IRS or HMRC’s own Web site. Scam messages typically contain dire warnings or outrageously large promises for a refund. The messages often are presented as if they originate from a […]

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Google Results Tarnished Again to Push Rogues

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It’s been a few months since Google implemented new ways that it displays search results, and in that time, it’s been difficult to find the kinds of hijacked search results we saw in huge numbers a year ago. But if you thought the search engine manipulators were laying down on the job, you’d be wrong. A new campaign seems to have hijacked Google search terms of not just products or words, but of people’s names, towns, and phrases in both English and Spanish to lure victims into a trap. One of our Threat Research analysts stumbled upon the new scheme […]

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New Year’s Drive-By Brings a Recursive Rogue

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On the morning of January 2nd, still bleary eyed, I checked my email to find a charming notification informing me that I’d received an electronic greeting card. Yay! I thought to myself: The first targeted malware of 2011 plopped right into my lap. I immediately pulled up my research machine, browsed to the URL in the message (don’t try this at home, kids), and found my test system swamped in malware. After classifying the files and their source URLs into our definitions — I didn’t want this to happen to you, after all — I turned the computer back off […]

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10 Threats from 2010 We’d Prefer Remain History

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With 2010 finally behind us, and an unknown number of cyberattacks likely to come in the new year, I thought I’d run down a brief list of the malicious campaigns criminals pulled off last year that I’d really dread to see anyone repeat. Now that they’re in the past, they should stay there. Operation Aurora: Google’s accusation (with Adobe, Juniper Networks, Rackspace, Yahoo! and Symantec) that China hacked its servers, allegedly stealing private emails stored on the company’s servers. The big surprise wasn’t that it was happening, but that companies were publicly talking about it. Abused ccTLDs: 2010 saw lots […]

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