Feeds

HMRC data debacle used to bait phishing lure

Poetic justice restricts success of feeble ruse

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A phishing attack targeting victims of the HMRC data loss debacle has been spotted on the net. The bogus emails offering recipient the false opportunity to claim a tax refund of £215 from the UK Government over the potential exposure of confidential data. The email contains a web link to a suspect site, reports security firm McAfee, which spotted the ruse.

The ploy takes advantage of the loss of computer discs by HM Revenue and Customs containing the confidential details of 25 million child benefit recipients, including bank and building society details, NI numbers, addresses and child records. The attack follows more than two months after UK Chancellor Alistair Darling announced the loss, so arguably fraudsters have been slow off the mark.

McAfee reports that UK email addresses were targeted in the attack. Similar inducements involving tax refunds over data losses and the IRS service in the US have featured as the lure in US-based attacks. In the case of the HMRC phishing attack potential marks were invited to submit confidential data to a server located in Germany, which has since been taken offline.

The security firm advises net users to be wary of further similar attacks.

"This phishing attack has echoes of traditional get rich quick scams, preying on the desire to be compensated for the Government losing their data, but people must learn that there really is no such thing as free money," said Greg Day, McAfee security analyst.

Day notes that the effectiveness of the attack may have been damaged by the HMRC's tarnished reputation for data security. "Recent high profile data loss incidents have left the public more vigilant about handing over information that has any link to HMRC, so this may not be the most thoroughly considered phishing attack," he said. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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?