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Security Response
Showing posts tagged with Spam
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Lionel Payet | 27 Feb 2014 13:22:11 GMT
Java remote access Trojan (RAT) campaigns aren’t rare anymore. Their prevalence has increased in the past few years and they have continued to target both enterprises and individuals. The popularity of these campaigns isn’t surprising, as if an attacker successfully infects a victim’s computer with a RAT, then they could gain full control of the compromised computer. Along with this, these threats aren’t limited to one operating system, as in theory, they focus on any computer that runs Java. Attackers have easy access to Java RATs thanks to the fact that a handful of these RATs’ source code is being openly shared online
 
This month, we have observed a new spam campaign delivering a Java RAT known as JRAT, which started on February 13, 2014. The spam email’s sender claims that they have attached a payment certificate to the message and asks the user to confirm that they have received it. 
 
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Eric Park | 18 Feb 2014 18:34:22 GMT

In this blog detailing how spammers continue to change their messages in order to increase their success rate, we looked at the evolution of the same spam campaign from missed voicemail messages to spoofing various retailers, and then spoofing utility statements. Clicking on the link led the users to a download for a .zip file containing Trojan.Fakeavlock. Attackers may have realized that those attack vectors no longer entice recipients, so spammers have introduced two new schemes for this campaign that appear to be random and unrelated at first, but they do share a common goal.

The first scheme spoofs various courts around the country:

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Satnam Narang | 12 Feb 2014 18:59:14 GMT

In the latest Snapchat spam developments, an increasing number of the photo-sharing app’s users have been sending out spam pictures of fruits or fruit-based drinks to their contacts, which directs them to websites called “Frootsnap” and “Snapfroot”.

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Figure 1. Fruit spam on Snapchat

While Symantec has been tracking Snapchat spam for months, this is the first case in which the spam does not originate from fake accounts, but those belonging to real users. These accounts have been compromised to push diet spam.

Instagram users might recall similar...

Eric Park | 11 Feb 2014 17:55:34 GMT

One of the most popular methods of spamming is snowshoe spam, also known as hit and run spam. This involves spam that comes from many IP addresses and many domains, in order to minimize the effect of antispam filtering. The spammer typically sends a burst of such spam and moves to new IP addresses with new domains. Previously used domains and IP addresses are rarely used again, if ever.

Some spammers like to use a similar pattern across their spam campaigns. This blog discusses a particular snowshoe spam operation that I have labeled “From-Name snowshoe”. While there are other features in the message that allow the campaigns to be grouped into the same bucket, the messages’ most distinct feature is that all of the email addresses that appear in the “from” line use real names as their usernames. 

  • From: [REMOVED] <Leila.Day@[REMOVED]>
  • From: [REMOVED] <CharlotteTate@[REMOVED]>
  • From: [REMOVED] <Diana.Pope@[REMOVED]>
  • ...
Satnam Narang | 06 Feb 2014 15:59:32 GMT

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Whether it’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October or Safer Internet Day in February, it’s always important to remember to be safe online every day. As technology continues to become more integrated into our daily lives, there are settings and security features that can be used to ensure your information and digital identity remain under your control.

It’s a social world
The most dominating force on the Internet today is social. Right now, I have friends pinning their wedding ideas, instagramming lattes, snapchatting outfits, checking into restaurants on Foursquare, vining videos of their cats, sharing newborn baby photos on Facebook, and tweeting in anticipation of The Walking Dead premiere. As these services become more and more popular, they are targeted more frequently by scams, spam, and phishing attempts.

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Joseph Graziano | 06 Feb 2014 04:01:19 GMT

It was only a few months ago that Paul Walker that left us in a fiery car accident. These days it is common for spammers and malware writers to use a celebrity’s death to spread malware. In this case, it started with emails with links to a video of Paul Walker’s car on fire, but instead contained a link to a malicious file.

In the latest slew of emails, the sender makes a plea to the victim to find a Dodge Viper GT that was supposedly racing with Paul Walker’s car. The email asks that anyone with information call a number in the email or open the attached file to view a picture of the Viper GT’s driver. In every sample we have dealt with there is always a promise of reimbursement or compensation for helping capture the Viper GT’s driver.

These attacks are unique because of the regular change of subject lines and body text to bypass spam filters. The attacker tries to personalize the email with the recipient’s name in the body, subject, or attached file name.

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Christopher Mendes | 03 Feb 2014 18:13:40 GMT

Contributor: Sean Butler

As it’s the start of a Football World Cup year it’s only natural that we will see many campaigns in relation to this global event. There will be many marketing and promotional campaigns taking advantage of the hype and excitement surrounding this event. Amongst all of the legitimate marketing and promotion emails, you may also receive emails promising anything from free match tickets, to competitions and lottery prizes stating that you have won a car.

Sound too good to be true? Well, you would be right in thinking that!

Fraudsters will be looking to exploit the enthusiasm that comes with the FIFA World Cup, which will be taking place in Brazil this June. The ramifications of you being scammed could be very serious indeed. Not only could you become a victim of fraud by having your bank account emptied by these fraudsters, you could also end up with malware on your computer. This malware could do anything from stealing your...

Binny Kuriakose | 30 Jan 2014 09:39:42 GMT
China is gearing up to usher in the Year of the Horse, which begins with the new moon on January 31 this year. With more than a billion people worldwide preparing to celebrate the new year for the lunar calendar, the celebration this year promises more color than ever before.
 
Chinese New Year, also known as the spring festival, is a day for reunion and thanksgiving, where exchanging gifts is at the heart of the celebration. Friends, family, colleagues and even businesses exchange gifts to show love, respect and loyalty. Business owners often send gifts to their customers and shops offer gifts and discounts to show their gratitude. However, spammers are all too aware of this practice.
 
The spammers and fraudsters are known to capitalize on special occasions and exploit the noble gesture of giving gifts in order to send out spam. They are known to pose as friends and business owners and send emails promising gifts and...
Eric Park | 20 Jan 2014 18:44:19 GMT

Spammer success is dependent on two factors:

  1. Evading spam filters so the spam message arrives in the recipient inbox
  2. Crafting messages so that the recipient is enticed to open and perform desired call-to-actions (click on the link, open attachment, etc.)

Spammers walk a fine line to balance these two aspects; relying heavily on one factor and ignoring the other will make the spam campaign fail. For example, spammers can evade spam filters by randomizing the subject and body of the message, however such randomization is likely to be ignored by even the most unsophisticated user as obvious spam. Similarly, crafting stand-out enticing messages to increase the email open rate often results in spam filters blocking the message. Spammers have a tough challenge.

Rising up to meet this challenge, spammers are now hiding the true content from the user more than ever before. While there are still spam campaigns with links to online pharmacies with...

Satnam Narang | 15 Jan 2014 22:13:49 GMT

A few weeks after our blog post about porn and secret admirer spam targeting Snapchat users, a new spam campaign using sexually suggestive photos and compromised custom URLs is circulating on the photo messaging app.
 

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Figure 1. Snapchat spam
 

Each of these spam messages includes a request to “Add my kik”, along with a specially crafted user name on the Kik instant messaging application for mobile devices.
 

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Figure 2...