Feeds

Cybercrooks ramp up recession-themed scams

DoJ Untouchables plan crackdown

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Cybercrooks have adapted to the global economic crisis with scams based on topical subjects such as refinancing or unemployment in a bid to reel in vulnerable marks.

A survey by brand protection firm MarkMonitor on four leading financial brands reveals that fraudsters are targeting vulnerable individuals looking for ways to keep their head above water during tough times economically. "Scammers are preying upon consumer hardship, demonstrating incredible creativity in combining technology, social engineering techniques and current events," said Frederick Felman, chief marketing officer at MarkMonitor.

As part of its Brandjacking Index exercise, MarkMonitor sifted through 134 million public domain records, countless web pages and billions of spam email messages searching for scams focusing on terms such as foreclosure, mortgage, refinance and unemployed.

It found numerous example of phishing and suspected domain squatting. More than 7,300 cybersquatted domains were located, 16 per cent of which were established after September 2008. Crooks registered domains that incorporated the name of the four targeted brands with "credit crunch relief" terms at the rate of more than one domain per day between September 2008 and April 2009, MarkMonitor reports.

Phishing attacks against the same four financial brands hit 10,000 during Q1 2009, a 36 per cent increase from the previous quarter.

Looking at phishing fraud more generally, MarkMonitor found that 93 organisations were phished for the first time in Q1 2009. Four in five (82 per cent) were financial brands.

Payment service providers, more even than banks and financial services firms, bore the brunt of scam email attacks, featuring in 42 per cent of scam emails. Attacks on social media websites trebled, albeit from a previously miniscule base.

In related news, US consumer watchdog the Federal Trade Commission is due to launch a campaign targeting recession-themed scams. Operation Short Change - more details on which are expected to emerge at a launch event on Wednesday - will also bring the Department of Justice on board in a law enforcement sweep "cracking down on frauds fueled by the economic downturn". ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
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.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.