Feeds

US airmen hornswoggled by Transformers email trick

Foxy Fox foolishness foxes foolish fools

Top three mobile application threats

A US Air Force security training exercise which created a false buzz about the filming of Transformers 3 succeeded in creating awareness of phishing issues, but went a little further than was expected.

Bogus emails sent to airmen at the Anderson Airforce Base suggested Transformers 3 was about to shoot on Guam and made invitations to work on the film or appear as extras. This website asked for all sorts of sensitive information, which many willingly supplied without thinking twice.

The aim of the exercise was to embarrass those who had responded to the email, hopefully educating them to the perils of phishing and making sure it was far less likely that these personnel would respond to future real-life fraudulent pitches.

Unfortunately the scheme went awry after recipients of the email not only responded but told all their friends - readers on the forum of fan site Comicbookmovie.com - that Michael Bay's killer alien robot franchise was shipping up in the Pacific. The resulting galloping internet rumour eventually resulted in the local news media taking an interest in the supposed shooting.

In response to these inquiries, officials from Guam Air Force base's 36th Communications Squadron, which ran the security awareness exercise, were obliged to issue an official statement in a bid to clear up the confusion.

"Leadership from Andersen AFB regrets that there has been any confusion in the general public regarding this exercise phishing attempt," Andersen said in a statement, Computerworld reports. "We hope however that this will show that all individuals need to be careful about the real danger of phishing emails and that others can learn from this exercise."

The previous edition of the franchise, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, swept the boards at last year's Razzie Awards, scooping the Worst Director, Worst Screenplay and Worst Picture statuettes. It also grossed an estimated $836m on a $200m budget in spite of negative reviews, so ensuring a sequel will follow.

Transformers 3 is pencilled in for delivery in summer 2011. Locations include various part of the US as well as Africa, Russia, and China - but not Guam.

We can only hope the airmens' interest in the project stemmed from a possible chance to meet Megan Fox rather than a fascination with Optimus Prime and/or things blowing up very loudly. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you
Mass patch for issues across its software catalog
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
Oracle working on at least 13 Heartbleed fixes
Big Red's cloud is safe and Oracle Linux 6 has been patched, but Java has some issues
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.