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Malware scammers target iPhone

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Fraudsters have been busy at work exploiting the hype surrounding last week's launch of the Apple iPhone.

One strain of scam email makes the bogus claim that recipients have won one of the much sought after devices in a bid to trick prospective marks into visiting a malware loaded site. The site attempts to exploit a number of well-known IE vulnerabilities in order to turn the unprotected PCs of victims into spam bots.

Another scam relies on infecting PCs with a new custom Trojan. Windows machines infected by the malware produce a popup, triggered by visiting either yahoo.com or google.com, which prompts users to visit iPhone.com. But system changes on infected systems mean surfers clicking on these ads are redirected not to Apple's site but a bogus site under the control of fraudsters.

The site has nothing to do with Apple but looks the part. However, prospective victims may well smell a rat when they are asked to send payment for their shiny new device through Western Union or Moneygram rather than via a credit card purchase. Marks taken in by the ruse end up handing over their money to cybercrooks based in the Baltic republic of Latvia, according to an analysis of the attack by anti-spyware firm Sunbelt Software.

The social engineering-based scams against wannabe iPhone owners come as security researchers and white hat hackers attempt to spot security vulnerabilities in Apple's iPhone, already unearthing ways to subvert the device's browser and uncover passwords hiding in Apple software. ®

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