Feeds

US airmen hornswoggled by Transformers email trick

Foxy Fox foolishness foxes foolish fools

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications 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.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.