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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.
 

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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...

Mathew Maniyara | 05 Dec 2012 23:52:35 GMT

Contributor: Avdhoot Patil

Several phishing attacks using football have been observed during 2012. Phishers have shown their interest in football clubs, football celebrities, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In November 2012, the trend continued with phishers spoofing the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazilian Portuguese on a free web hosting site.

In one example, a phishing site prompted users to sign up for a  daily offer to win prizes worth hundreds of dollars, including trips to the World Cup. The phishing page featured the World Cup mascot Fuleco on the right hand side. While signing up for the offer, the user is asked to select from three Brazilian electronic payment brands. After the brand is selected, the phishing site requests the user’s confidential information.

The information required includes the user's:

  • Card number
  • Electronic signature
  • Card holder name
  • Password
  • Email address...
Mathew Maniyara | 29 Nov 2012 06:53:37 GMT

Contributor: Wahengbam RobinSingh

Phishers continue to devise diverse strategies to improve their chances of harvesting users’ confidential information. Symantec constantly monitors and keeps track of these phishing trends. In November 2012, Symantec observed a phishing site that loaded a malicious browser add-on. The malicious add-on, if installed, would lead users to phishing sites even when a legitimate website is entered in the address bar. Phishers utilized a typosquatting domain to host the phishing site and their primary motive in this strategy was financial gain. The phishing site spoofed a popular e-commerce website.

Figure 1. Browser prevents automatic installation of the malicious add-on

 

The phishing site detects the specific browser application used by the user and prompts...

Satnam Narang | 28 Nov 2012 22:14:57 GMT

While death and taxes may be certainties in our lives, in the digital world—especially in social networking—one certainty is spam.

I recently wrote about gift card spam targeting the popular photo-sharing application Instagram. The service now has over 100 million users and it recently surpassed Twitter with more average daily visitors (Figure 1). As the number of users of Instagram continues to increase, we expect to see a corresponding increase in Instagram spam.

Figure 1. Instagram daily visitor growth
 

Cash Rules Everything Around Me (C.R.E.A.M.)

While gift cards work quite well as a lure in social engineering, the...

Anand Muralidharan | 15 Nov 2012 13:22:37 GMT

Some events familiar among people in the United States are commencing this month, including: Thanksgiving—a great occasion to thank dear friends and family for their kindness; and Black Friday—a day after Thanksgiving, usually the busiest retail shopping day of the year. Spam messages related to these events have begun flowing into the Symantec Probe Network. Many of the spam samples observed are encouraging users to take advantage of e-cards, clearance sales of cars and trucks, products bidding to get the best deals, replica watches. Clicking the URL will automatically redirect the user to a fake offer website.
 

Figure 1: An e-card for Thanksgiving day
 

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Ben Nahorney | 14 Nov 2012 16:04:40 GMT

Spammers have long been leveraging social networking sites to pull off scams. Generally speaking, as the popularity of a service increases, so too do the illicit activities of scammers. It seems that the popular photo-sharing service Instagram is the latest social networking site to catch the attention of these scammers.

I discovered this first-hand when I received an Instagram photo comment, from an unfamiliar account, which had nothing to do with the photo:

"Hi there, Get a FREE Game in my Profile, OPEN it up, Get 85.90$ :-) xx"

I went to check out the user, who appeared to be a rather attractive woman with followers in the thousands, but surprisingly for a photo-sharing service, not a single photo.

Figure 1. Scammer’s Instagram profile

Who was this mysterious lady? Her profile bio said largely the...