Feeds

You're infected so pay us to get infested

Spyware spam scams dissected

Security for virtualized datacentres

Spyware spreaders have stepped up attempts to trick users into downloading malware using a combination of browser vulnerabilities and deceptive spam emails. In particular, bogus warnings about infestation are frequently being used to dupe Windows users into accepting potentially malign code, reports security vendor Websense. In many cases, these scam emails also request money in return for "fixing" supposed security problems that don't actually exist (example here).

Such social engineering tricks represent a common-enough spyware scumbag ploy but Websense has identified a number of common factors within attacks launched over the last fortnight. Many of the sites involved in these scams are hosted in either the Ukraine or Russia. Their domain names are registered in countries such as Vanuatu and Mexico. Code downloaded from these sites often includes several pieces of spyware, adware, and other potentially unwanted software. Removing any of this software often forces users to fill out a survey.

The same IP netblocks associated with these nefarious sites have often recently been used to host malicious code such as Trojan horse downloaders and host-file redirection software, Websense reports. Furthermore, IP netblocks of these scam hosting sites are often hosting other questionable sites such as fraudulent search engines. Several of the 1,500 sites analysed by Websense contain links to other sites that are hosting IE exploit code.

In summary, these scam emails subject recipients to a noxious cocktail of unpleasantness that's best avoided. Screen shots of these spyware scam emails can be found on Websense's website here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.