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Security Response
Showing posts tagged with Spam
Showing posts in English
Mayur Kulkarni | 08 Feb 2013 15:50:31 GMT

Phishers love to arouse curiosity and/or fear in the user’s mind and this stimulus can compel people to set aside all caution as well as  any safety measures they might have in place to avoid such scams.

In a recent spam sample seen in our probe network, we observed that by taking advantage of human curiosity, users can easily be duped into disclosing sensitive information to unknown persons. In order to ensure awareness of this campaign, and others like it, we will discuss this phishing scam in more detail.

In a slight variation to the telegraphic transfer spam attack seen in the past, we see that the message has a HTML attachment, instead of an archived executable file. As shown in Figure 1, users are advised to confirm a pending transaction with their bank and also told that there is a copy of a bank slip attached.

Figure 1. ...

Mathew Maniyara | 04 Feb 2013 18:27:27 GMT

Contributor: Avdhoot Patil

Recently, cybercriminals have been focusing on the conflict in Syria to incorporate current events in their cyber warfare. In December 2012, phishers mimicked the website of a well-known organization in the gulf with the motive of stealing a user's email login credentials. The phishing site asked users to support the Syrian opposition by casting their vote against the Syrian regime. The phishing pages were in Arabic and the phishing site was hosted on servers based in Dallas, Texas, United States.

The phishing site asked users if they wanted to criminalize the Syrian regime for the murder of innocent people. As seen in the image below, options were provided to agree or disagree. If the agree option was selected, the phishing site prompted users to select their email service provider, from a list of four popular providers, and then login in order to cast their vote.


Shunichi Imano | 29 Jan 2013 22:10:05 GMT

Symantec Security Response is aware that fake FedEx emails have been circulating recently. The emails claim the user must print out a receipt by clicking on a link and then physically go to the nearest FedEx office to receive their parcel. Obviously the parcel does not exist and those who click on the link will be greeted by a file containing malicious PostalReceipt.exe executable file. Instead of receiving a parcel, which the user did not order in the first place, Trojan.Smoaler is delivered to the computer.

All the fake FedEx emails delivering this malware are almost identical except for the order numbers and the website the zip file is hosted on. One sign of laziness, or perhaps an oversight on the part of the malware author, is an consistent order date. The author does change the domain where Trojan.Smoaler is hosted daily. The following emails were spammed out...

Anand Muralidharan | 29 Jan 2013 13:00:20 GMT

Symantec Security Response has observed that spammers are distributing malicious emails that attempt to lure users into viewing a video of the incident that killed 233 people recently in a horrific tragedy at a popular nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil. The malicious email is in Portuguese and invites unsuspecting users to click on a link to watch a video of the tragedy. The link provided in the email downloads a zip file containing a malicious control panel file as well an executable file. Symantec detects this threat as Trojan Horse.

Further analysis of the malicious file shows that the threat creates the following file:


It also alters the registry entries for Internet Explorer.

The threat then downloads an IE configuration file from a recently registered domain. Trojan Horse is usually a backdoor Trojan, downloader, or an...

Mathew Maniyara | 15 Jan 2013 23:52:15 GMT

Contributor: Ayub Khan

Phishers consider special occasions as an opportunity to strike at end users and Christmas has always been a favorite for phishers to introduce new phishing baits. For this past Christmas, phishers created a phishing site pretending to be a popular payment system based in the USA. Phishers used a typosquatting domain hosted on servers based in the Netherlands.

The phishing site began by stating that the user was chosen as the winner of a $400 cash prize. Users were told that ten winners were given the prize every year for Christmas. To receive the prize, visitors were prompted to enter the verification code they received by email. There is poor language used in the phishing site, evident from the misspelled “recieve” in the message.


Mathew Maniyara | 20 Dec 2012 23:17:48 GMT

Contributor: Avdhoot Patil

Phishers are known for incorporating current events into their phishing sites and never leaving any stone unturned. They are now capitalizing on the civil war in Syria. In December 2012, a phishing site spoofing a popular social networking site claimed to have a torture video of a prisoner in the Syrian prison, State Security Branch Khatib. Phishers compromised a legitimate domain based in the United Arab Emirates to host the phishing site. The phishing pages were in Arabic.

The title of the phishing site translated to “Liberal torture in the State Security Branch Khatib”. The site warned that the video contained scenes of violence and asked users for their permission before proceeding. After permission had been granted, users were prompted to enter their login credentials. The login credentials were allegedly required to confirm that the user was over 18 years of age. After the login credentials had been entered, the...

Mathew Maniyara | 19 Dec 2012 18:35:45 GMT

Fake applications offered by phishing sites continue to appear. In December 2012, a fake app was seen that was titled, “Facebook 2013 demo”. Social networking users in India were most likely targeted in this phishing attack because the phishing URL consisted of certain words in Hindi. The phishing site was hosted on a free Web-hosting site.

The phishing site spoofed the login page of Facebook and the page contents were altered to promote the fake application. A message in the phishing page stated that users could use their existing Facebook accounts to access the application and that they did not need to create a new account. Of course, such a message was added to the phishing page because phishers wanted users to enter their primary login credentials. Towards the right hand side of the phishing page there were instructions on how to access the application. The poorly worded phishing page explained the instructions in three steps, along with a note. The first two...

Mathew Maniyara | 14 Dec 2012 23:10:35 GMT

Contributor: Avdhoot Patil

Fake social media applications in phishing sites are not uncommon. Phishers continue to devise new fake apps for the purpose of harvesting confidential information. In December 2012, a phishing site (spoofing Facebook) claimed to have an application to secure Facebook accounts from being hacked. The phishing site was hosted on a free Web-hosting site.

The phishing site required users to enter their Facebook login credentials to gain access to the fake security app. In addition to their Facebook login credentials, users must enter a confirmation code generated by clicking a button. Phishers likely believe asking users to enter a confirmation code and stating that it is certified while displaying a fake Facebook stock certificate will make this fake app page seem more authentic. Still, it is hard to understand how a sample stock certificate has any relevance to security on Facebook.


Anand Muralidharan | 13 Dec 2012 17:17:33 GMT

Contributor: Samir Patil

In the last few months, we have seen an increase in the volume of malicious spam. The majority of these new spam emails contain links to the Blackhole Exploit Kit.

Earlier this year Symantec reported on malicious spam during tax season that lead to the Blackhole Exploit Kit. Similar attacks targeting well-known businesses occurred throughout 2012, affecting major brands in various service industries such as payroll, fax, and social media.

The emails claim to be contacting the recipient in regards to account transactions, pending notifications, company complaint reports etc.

The main purpose of these spam campaigns is to lure recipients into clicking on links contained in the emails. These links then lead to malicious code being downloaded, which exploits common vulnerabilities.

Note: Read...

Mathew Maniyara | 07 Dec 2012 00:17:56 GMT

Contributor: Avdhoot Patil

Social media is a common target for phishers for the purposes of identity theft. Phishers are now seeking financial gain from social networking phishing sites. In November 2012, phishing sites spoofed a popular social networking site and asked for financial information as a requirement for to improve user security. The phishing sites were hosted on free web hosting sites.

The phishing site stated that the social networking site had made some improvements in security and required users to verify their identity by completing a security check. After the “Continue” button was clicked, users were asked to enter their personal details.

The personal details required included the user's:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email address
  • Password
  • Country
  • Gender
  • Birthday

The phishing pages that followed asked for users’ webmail address with their...