Feeds

Beware of Yahoo! spam scam

Users co-opted by devious bulk mailers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Spammers are trying to con users into setting up email accounts on their behalf via a series of bogus emails. The email requests, which claim to help Yahoo! prevent automated registrations, actually attempt to dupe users into creating fresh email accounts for spammers.

Last years Yahoo! Began using technology to block the computerised creation of web mail accounts. Rather than manually create new accounts themselves, spammers have found out a way to con ordinary computer users into assisting them.

Email filtering firm MessageLabs reports that the scam emails contain a fake Yahoo.com URL which redirect through a Google URL three times, in order to obfuscate the path of the link, before landed surfers on a fake Yahoo! web address. This page loads a real Yahoo! help page with legitimate information explaining the code verification process, followed by a fake pop-up window which shows the user a Yahoo picture ID and asks them to enter a code.

Alex Shipp, senior anti-virus technologist at MessageLabs, said: "This scam is another demonstration of how spammers and fraudsters attempt to manipulate computer users into doing their dirty work for them. Not only do they try and turn innocent users' machines into zombies for spam distribution, but they want them to set up new email accounts for them as well. The advantages for a spammer include increased capacity and flexibility when sending spam, as well as making it harder to trace the spammers themselves."

MessageLabs urges Yahoo! members to be wary of fraudulent emails asking them to verify their Yahoo! ID code. The Yahoo! scam emails are being detected in relatively low volumes. MessageLabs speculates this might be because scammers are trying to maintain a low profile. MessageLabs said the method used in the Yahoo! verification scam follows a similar pattern to phishing attacks directed at a well-known US bank back in September. These fraudulent emails had the same triple Google redirection, suggesting that the same group could be responsible for both scams. ®

The bogus emails have the characteristics shown here:

Subject: Automatic Yahoo identifier completion

Body text:

Dear Yahoo! Member,

We must check that your Yahoo! ID was registered by real people. So, to help Yahoo! prevent automated registrations, please click on this link and complete code verification process:

[ URL removed ]

Thank you.

Related stories

Hotmail, Yahoo! erect roadblocks for spam sign-ons
Yahoo! sets decoy email traps for spammers
US tops junk mail Dirty Dozen - again
Big six unite to can spam

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.