Thanks to the co-author of this blog, Avdhoot Patil.
In the month of January 2011 Symantec reported adult scams that targeted Indonesian Facebook users. These scams claimed to have an application in which users could view adult videos of Indonesian celebrities, taken from hidden cameras.
It seems that phishers are now using specific celebrities as bait for their phishing sites. This is unlike the previous Indonesian adult scams whose phishing pages gave the impression that the adult video would be of a random celebrity. In October 2011 phishers continued their adult scams on Facebook, but this time they chose the Indonesian rock star Ahmad Dhani in particular. Dhani is the frontman of the rock bands “Dewa 19” and “Ahmad Band”. The phishing site contained a photograph of Ahmad Dhani and Indonesian singer Dewi Persik. The Indonesian caption of the photograph translated: “To view videos of Ahmad Dhani recorded from CCTV cameras, please login below”. After users entered their Facebook login credentials, the phishing page redirected to a pornographic website. Of course, if users gave away their login credentials to the phishing site, phishers would have successully stolen their information for identity theft. The phishing site was hosted on a free Web hosting site.
Celebrities have been a common target in phishing attacks. In the past, we have seen Aishwarya Rai and Katrina Kaif used as phishing bait. Phishers are choosing celebrities with a large fan following because they perceive a larger audience will mean more duped users.
Internet users are advised to follow best practices to avoid phishing attacks:
- Do not click on suspicious links in email messages.
- Avoid providing any personal information when answering an email.
- Never enter personal information in a pop-up page or screen.
- When entering personal or financial information, ensure the website is encrypted with an SSL certificate by looking for the padlock, ‘https’, or the green address bar.
- Frequently update your security software, such as Norton Internet Security 2011, to protect you from online phishing.