Posts Categorized: social engineering


Trojan Masquerades as iTunes Gift or Résumé

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If you received one or more email messages over the past week that claim to contain an attached gift certificate for the Apple iTunes store or an unsolicited résumé, you probably received the latest scam involving the Tacticlol downloader. The iTunes-themed spam messages use the forged return address of gifts.certificate@itunes.com and read, in part, You have received an iTunes Gift Certificate in the amount of $50.00. You can find your certificate code in the attachment below. The resume messages simply say Please review my CV, Thank you! — using the abbreviation for Curriculum Vitae, the British analogue to the word […]

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Defencelab Rogue Steals Microsoft’s Name (Again)

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When you see an online order form that bears Microsoft’s logo and the words “pay to: Microsoft Inc.,” are you any more likely to enter a credit card number into the form and click submit? That’s the psychological experiment currently being undertaken by a company that calls itself DefenceLab, which subjects unsuspecting users to its peculiar blend of fakealert with rogue antivirus. Last year, our friends at Sunbelt wrote two very interesting blog items about DefenceLab. At the time, DefenceLab was accused of lifting content from the products and Web sites of legitimate comapnies such as Microsoft and AVG, inserting […]

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The Lessons of a ‘Love Bug’ Still Ring True

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By Ian Moyse A decade on from the ILOVEYOU worm, what has changed—apart from ‘we’re older and (supposedly) wiser?’ We have allowed the bad in the real world to progressively infect our online world, giving criminals a way to attack victims that is more dangerous for the victim and, coincidentally, safer for the attacker. As recently as a decade ago, bank robbers had to physically enter the bank premises and overcome its defenses. Today, they simply need to be clever enough to trick you, rather than break the defenses of the bank itself. In humanizing the Internet we have dehumanized […]

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Getting a “Conract” Doesn’t Make You a Rock Star

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If you’re a rock-and-roll star, anticipating the imminent arrival of a new recording contract from your lawyer, you can stop reading this post. If you’re not, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, it was not your hours of practice playing Rock Band, or singing in the shower, that attracted the attention of the music industry. A spammed message, supposedly from a record company, which claims to have a contract attached, is (surprise!) malicious. The contract, in this case, is no contract at all, but a Trojan that can brick your computer if you run the file inside […]

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8 Tips for Filing Taxes Online Safely

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By Mike Kronenberg Getting ready to file your taxes online — and doing it at the last minute? Well, cyber-scammers are ready for you. Thieves are schemers, and they’ve got a bag full of tricks to steal your identity. You might even be doing things to make their job easier. And if you use a PC at work to do your return,  identity theft could be as simple as a crook (or an unscrupulous coworker) digging around and finding sensitive files. One might send you an e-mail that offers a quick refund — or a warning about a problem with […]

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’30 Rock’ Phrase ‘Circulus et Pruna’ Draws Fakealerts

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Every search result on the first page (and most of the second page) of results for “circulus et pruna” leads to a Fakealert trap.

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Social Nets Put Your Privacy at Risk

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By Mike Kronenberg Attention Facebook and Twitter users: You’re still at risk. Last year, our survey found that lots of people using social networking sites were taking the risk of financial loss, identity theft, and malware infection. Have things gotten any better? Well, the answer is yes but, unfortunately, not better enough — and potentially a lot worse for some of you. The results of our 2010 survey reveals that more of you are adhering to some safe behaviors — like blocking profiles from being visible through public search engines. That’s a good thing, but the downside is over 25 […]

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Weird New Koobface URLs Use Old Tricks

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Pretty much since it arrived on the malware scene, Koobface has used the technique of sending messages with Web links — in your name, to your friends — as a method of propagating the infection to others. Using your name is a powerful social engineering trick, and the makers of the worm have tried innumerable ways to mask the danger behind those dangerous links: They’ve used “short link” services like Bit.ly to hide the destination; They build pages on sites normally considered safe, like Blogspot or Google Reader, that simply redirect users to a dangerous page; and they use stolen […]

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Fakealert Accurately Mimics Windows Update

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A new Windows Update-themed stupid malware trick that’s making the rounds appears to be trying to capitalize on the recent frequency of “out of band” Windows patches Microsoft has been releasing lately. The spy, which serves as nothing more than a vehicle for the fraudulent sale of a fake product called Antimalware Defender, so closely resembles a Windows Update installation dialog that some members of our threat research team who saw these files had to pause and look carefully at the dialog box before deciding it is, in fact, a big fat hoax. Even the Microsoft Knowledge Base article the […]

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Twitter Phish Floods Network with Short URLs

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All day, I’ve been getting reports from my Twitter-using friends and acquaintances that they’ve been receiving tweets of short URLs. I took a look and it looks like another phishing campaign aimed at users of the social network is underway. The short URLs, prefaced with the message “This you???” lead to a fake Twitter login page. The fake login page is hosted on a domain that points to a server in China. Other domains that are currently hosted on that same server’s IP address, including bzpharma.net, have previously been implicated in earlier Twitter spam campaigns. The same domain appears to […]

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