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Showing posts tagged with Spam
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Mathew Maniyara | 16 Apr 2013 17:15:29 GMT

Contributor: Sandeep Ingale

When it comes to financial organizations, being informed about best security practices is every customer’s right. Many organizations provide this information on their websites to help their customers learn how to take full advantage of the services available to them while staying secure. Interestingly, these Web pages, meant for the guidance and protection of customers, were mimicked by phishers with the intent of tricking people into handing over personal information.

In March, we discovered a phishing site spoofing a popular credit card services company that asked users for confidential information, allegedly for additional security. It should be kept in mind that a legitimate site will never ask for confidential information for this reason.

The phishing site prompts users through a three-step procedure for activating their card and adding higher security. The first step asks users for personal and card-related...

Mathew Maniyara | 28 Mar 2013 15:07:04 GMT

Contributor: Avdhoot Patil

New methods to entice victims into handing over their personal information are always being devised by the people behind phishing websites and the use of fake social networking applications is always popular.

During the past month, phishing on social media sites consisted of 8.6 percent of all phishing activity. Among the phishing sites targeting social media, 0.8 percent consisted of fake applications offering features such as free cell phone airtime, adult videos, video chatting, adult chatting, etc.

In March 2013, phishers used a fake Asian chat application on a phishing site hosted on a free web hosting site.

fig1.jpg

Figure 1. Phishing page spoofing a social networking site

The phishing site spoofs a popular social networking site and is titled “Pakistani chat room - Pakistani girls...

Anand Muralidharan | 25 Mar 2013 14:47:12 GMT

Easter Sunday is one of the most important festivals in the Christian calendar and it is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 each year; this year it falls on March 31. Spam messages related to Easter have begun flowing into the Symantec Probe Network. As expected, most of the spam samples are encouraging users to take advantage of products offers, personalized letters, e-cards, as well as clearance sales of cars and replica watches. Clicking the URL will automatically redirect the user to a website containing some bogus offer.

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Figure 1. Spam product offer related to Easter

Spammers are also exploiting the event by sending casino spam email using the name "Easter bonnet". The Easter bonnet represents the tail-end of a tradition of wearing new clothes at an Easter festival.

The following spam sample provides...

Mathew Maniyara | 21 Mar 2013 18:06:11 GMT

Contributor: Ayub Khan

Symantec has been constantly monitoring phishing sites hosted on compromised Indian websites. In 2011, our study detailed these compromised sites and we did a similar study of phishing sites in 2012.

From August 2012 to November 2012, 0.11% of all phishing sites were hosted on compromised Indian websites. Phishers continue to target Indian sites across many disciplines to host their phishing sites. These Indian sites were classified in various categories. The most targeted sites were information technology (14.40%), education (11.90%), product sales and services (9.80%), industrial and manufacturing (7.30%), and tourism, travels and transport (5.80%). The figures for secure websites such as government, telecommunication, and ISP were low and at the bottom of the list. This offers evidence that phishers opt to target more vulnerable websites.
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Nick Johnston | 20 Mar 2013 13:22:44 GMT

In recent days, the European Union (EU) financial crisis has taken a dramatic turn. Cyprus, one of the EU's smallest member states by population, announced plans to impose a one-off levy of up to 10 percent on ordinary bank deposits. Banks across the island state have been closed while the unprecedented measures are debated in the country's parliament. Meanwhile, anxious bank account holders—ordinary people, not bond holders or investors in Cypriot banks—await news of what will happen to their savings.

The notorious Blackhole Exploit Kit, previously featured in several posts on this blog, has started exploiting the public concern about this situation by sending out emails claiming to be news stories related to the unfolding situation.

Figure 1. Blackhole Exploit Kit malicious...

Samir_Patil | 19 Mar 2013 09:29:04 GMT

Contributor: Saurabh Farkade

The Vatican City has been in the news a lot in the past few weeks due to Benedict XVI’s resignation and the election of Pope Francis. Spammers have picked up on this opportunity for spreading malware.

Symantec Security Response has observed attackers distributing spam which leads users to a site hosting the Blackhole Exploit Kit. The good news is, Symantec customers are protected and this threat is detected as Blackhole Toolkit Website.

The spam email alleges to be from a well-known news channel. The following subject lines are used in this attack:

  • Subject: Opinion: Can New-Pope Benedict be Sued for the Sex Abuse Cases? - [REMOVED]
  • Subject: Opinion: New Pope, Vatican officials sued over alleged sexual abuse! - [REMOVED]
  • Subject: Opinion: New...
Joji Hamada | 18 Mar 2013 10:59:34 GMT

SMS messages attempting to lure Android device owners to download an app that supposedly allows the camera on the device to see through clothes are circulating in Japan. This type of spam is usually sent by the malware authors themselves, but in this case the authors have developed an app to send the spam messages by SMS to phone numbers stored in the device’s Contacts. This allows the recipients of the spam to be tricked easier because the invitation to download the app is coming from someone they know rather than from an unknown sender. If a friend is recommending an app, why would you not at least try it out, right?

Figure 1. SMS message sent from a person whose device is compromised

The site where the link takes the user to introduces an app called Infrared X-Ray that supposedly allows the user to see through clothes when viewed through the...

Samir_Patil | 15 Mar 2013 08:33:49 GMT

Contributor: Vivek Krishnamurthi

The Cheltenham Festival, also known as the National Hunt Meeting, is a popular horse racing event that occurs every year in March in the United Kingdom. The festival usually coincides with Saint Patrick's Day. This year, the festival is currently in progress and will end on March 15. A large amount of gambling takes place during the Cheltenham Festival, a fact that spammers seem to be well aware of as we are presently observing an increase in online gambling spam.

One particular sample of spam included instructions on how to register a free bet. The link provided in the message directs the user to a form where they can sign up and get a free bet worth up to £50.

Some of the email header information found in this spam campaign includes the following:

  • Subject: Bet on Cheltenham with the Best Odds!
  • ...
Anand Muralidharan | 14 Mar 2013 15:02:04 GMT

St. Patrick’s Day is a global celebration of Irish culture and a religious holiday on March 17, and it is very special to Irish communities and organizations. Recently, we have observed numerous St. Patrick’s Day related spam messages flowing into the Symantec Probe Network. Many of the spam samples observed are encouraging users to take advantage of clearance sales of cars as well as other product offers.

Interestingly, in one spam campaign, we observed a malicious spam email that tries to trick users by using the name of the event in conjunction with a popular site that allows users to send and receive large files. By clicking on the link, the user is redirected to a Web page that downloads some malicious code, which exploits several common vulnerabilities. The main motive of these spam campaigns is to lure recipients by taking advantage of the St. Patrick’s day holiday in the subject line and body of the email, such as: “Patrick[RANDOM NUMBERS]...

Carlos Mejia | 08 Mar 2013 09:47:56 GMT

Rumors of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s death were rampant on the news and Internet over the past month, and last Tuesday, the Venezuelan Vice President confirmed that Chavez died after a two year battle with cancer. Chavez’s death has triggered reactions worldwide, from world leaders to ordinary citizens, and everyone is talking about his ideas and actions as Venezuelan President. At the same speed as the news is spreading, cybercriminals are using this opportunity to send malicious links related to his death as well as hypothetical theories about the cause of his sickness and death.

All the links that we have seen contain malware. Some domains have been registered recently and others seem to have been hijacked.

Here is an example email used in these attacks:

The following URLs are the malicious links that we have observed:

  • [http://][REMOVED].tv/bbb-...