Feeds

Fraudsters limber up for World Cup themed scams

Can I click it? Yes you can (but probably shouldn't)

Security for virtualized datacentres

Fraudsters as well as footballers are gearing up for this month's World Cup extravaganza in South Africa.

Football governing body FIFA has already warned supporters to be wary over various forms of scams that are likely to crop up in the run-up to the start of the tournament, which kicks off in ten days.

FIFA lottery, prize draw or competition scams are likely to abound. All represent types of advanced fee fraud where fraudsters attempt to trick people into paying "administrative fees" supposedly needed to secure non-existent World Cup tickets or cash prizes.

"Prize draws and competitions offering tickets to the 2010 FIFA World Cup can only be held by companies who are commercially affiliated with FIFA, such as, for example, sponsors," it said.

FIFA also used the notice to issue a warning against ticket touts and unauthorised agents, a more standard message that has preceded every recent World Cup.

Spam emails touting 419-lite lottery scams themed around the World Cup are already in circulation (as recorded by Trend Micro here and here). More can be expected to follow as excitement builds toward the start of the tournament next month.

Security watchers report that scam emails seen thus far have not been sent through botnet networks of compromised PCs but via direct spamming from known Nigeria-based 419 scam-friendly IP addresses.

Search engine manipulation, themed around events at the World Cup and designed to divert users searching for video clips and news towards scareware portals, is also likely to crop up, among other types of malware attack, especially once the tournament kicks off.

MessageLabs, Symantec's hosted security division, has already begun intercepting World Cup-themed email-borne malware attacks. Infected email blocked by MessageLabs were sent from an IP address in Macau, China, and composed in Portuguese (targeting fans of Brazil and Portugal). The infected messages posed as emails from one of the event's soft drink sponsors.

Football fans receiving the email were encouraged to download a hacking tool that posed as a football-themed application.

“Once downloaded and activated, the malware produces files that generate pop-up messages and in the background collects information on what other machines are on the same network, enabling the attacker further access to the compromised networks,” explained Paul Wood, MessageLabs Intelligence senior analyst.

Symantec has set up a dedicated website that aims to track and warn football fans about net threats connected with the World Cup, as they arise. 2010NetThreat will also feature security advice, competitions and news on the tournament itself. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.