Posts Tagged: Scam


A peek inside the online romance scam.

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Online dating can be rough, and no matter how many safeguards are in place in the multiple legitimate dating websites out there, the scammers are getting around the blocks and still luring in potential victims.  While the reports of these types of scams are out there (even with copy and paste examples of the e-mails used), people still fall for the scams every day.  In this particular case, it was my profile on eHarmony that was targeted, and this is my recount of it. It started with a potential match; a profile with a collection of tasteful photos of a […]

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All About Windows Tech Support Scams

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*Editors Notes:  The purpose of this research was to see exactly how this scam is carried out, and the extent to which it is done.  DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. We used a clean machine, off network, to monitor the activity of the scammer. Have you ever received a phone call from a tech support person claiming to be from Microsoft, and that your Windows based machine has been found to have a virus on it?  These cold calls typically come from loud call centers, and are targeting the uninformed and naïve in hopes of gaining access to their […]

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Managed TeamViewer based anti-forensics capable virtual machines offered as a service

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Operational Security (OPSEC) has always been an inseparable part of the cybercrime ecosystem, especially in the context of preventing law enforcement agencies from tracking down the activities of fraudulent and malicious adversaries online. Throughout the years, the industry has witnessed active utilization of malware-infected hosts (Socks4/Socks5) as anonymization ‘stepping stones’ and the use of cybercrime-friendly VPN providers, bypassing internationally accepted data retention regulations, as some of the primary anonymization tactics used by cybercriminals. Nowadays, this set of tactics has evolved into a diversified mix of legitimate and purely malicious infrastructure that provides value-added services such as APIs supporting Socks4/Socks5 services, DIY real-time […]

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Newly launched managed ‘compromised/hacked accounts E-shop hosting as service’ standardizes the monetization process

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Regular readers of Webroot’s Threat Blog are familiar with our “A Peek Inside a Boutique Cybercrime-Friendly E-shop” series, originally started in 2012, highlighting the trend emerging at the time of boutique based E-shops selling access to compromised/hacked accounts. Popping up on our radars on systematic basis, this maturing market segment is already entering in a new life cycle stage in early 2014. The current stage is the direct result of the ongoing efficiency-oriented mentality applied by cybercriminals over the years in the face of the active implementation of tactics such as, for instance, templatization, ultimately leading to standardization of key […]

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Fully automated, API-supporting service, undermines Facebook and Google’s ‘SMS/Mobile number activation’ account registration process

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Operating in a world dominated by millions of malware-infected hosts acting as proxies for the facilitation of fraudulent and malicious activity, the Web’s most popular properties are constantly looking for ways to add additional layers of authentication to the account registration process of prospective users, in an attempt to undermine automatic account registration tactics. With CAPTCHA under automatic fire from newly emerging CAPTCHA solving/breaking services, re-positioning the concept from what was once the primary automatic account registration prevention mechanism, to just being a part of the ‘authentication mix’ these days, in recent years, a new (layered) authentication concept got the attention […]

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Cybercrime Trends 2013 – Year in Review

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It’s that time of the year! The moment when we reflect back on the cybercrime tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) that shaped 2013, in order to constructively speculate on what’s to come for 2014 in terms of fraudulent and malicious campaigns, orchestrated by opportunistic cybercriminal adversaries across the globe. Throughout 2013, we continued to observe and profile TTPs, which were crucial for the success, profitability and growth of the cybercrime ecosystem internationally, such as, for instance, widespread proliferation of the campaigns, professionalism and the implementation of basic business/economic/marketing concepts, improved QA (Quality Assurance), vertical integration in an attempt to occupy […]

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A peek inside a Blackhat SEO/cybercrime-friendly doorways management platform

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The perceived decline in the use of blackhat SEO (search engine optimization) tactics for delivering malicious/fraudulent content over the last couple of years, does not necessarily mean that cybercriminals have somehow abandoned the concept of abusing the world’s most popular search engines. The fact is, this tactic remains effective at reaching users who, on the majority of occasions, trust that that the search result links are malware/exploit free. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Cybercriminals continue introducing new tactics helping fraudulent adversaries to quickly build up and aggregate millions of legitimate visitors, to be later on exposed to online scams or directly […]

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Cybercriminals offer anonymous mobile numbers for ‘SMS activation’, video tape the destruction of the SIM card on request

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For years, cybercriminals have been abusing a rather popular, personally identifiable practice, namely, the activation of an online account for a particular service through SMS. Relying on the basic logic that a potential service user would not abuse its ToS (Terms of Service) for fraudulent or malicious purposes. Now that it associates a mobile with the account, the service continues ignoring the fact the SIM cards can be obtained by providing fake IDs, resulting in the increased probability for direct abuse of the service in a fraudulent/malicious fashion. What are cybercriminals up to in terms of anonymous SIM cards these days? Differentiating […]

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