Feeds

Monarchist marks fall for faux royal wedding ticket site

Now that's what I call a commemorative mug

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

A benign social engineering experiment has proved how easy it would be to make thousands out of gullible monarchists anxious for a chance to attend next April's royal wedding.

A hoax website selling "Golden Tickets" to the social event of the millennium attracted more than 160 visitors - all willing to pay £250 a head for the privilege of attending the ceremony - in just 12 hours. Even the dubious promise that "one lucky guest will appear in the couple's wedding photographs" was not enough to deter the delirious Wills'n'Kate fans.

Fortunately the exercise was not a genuine con, but an exercise designed to raise scam awareness by website Scam Detectives. "Had this been a real scam, it could have netted up to £33,000 in the first 12 hours," said Scam Detectives editor Charles Conway.

Scam Detectives used a free online website building package top set up a spoof site - http://www.royalwedding.weebly.com - only minutes after the announcement of the royal wedding. The site was promoted using social networks, adverts on classified advertising websites and spam posts on popular forums.

The first visitors arrived within three minutes of the site going live. Making use of Google keywords or other tactics, not employed in the exercise, would likely have brought in even more interest.

"Visitors to this website were very lucky," said Charles. "Had this been a real scam they would not only have lost their £250, but would also have handed over their credit card details to criminals who would have gone on a shopping spree, maxing out the credit limit within hours."

In an odd twist, The Sun reported on Thursday that 100 randomly chosen members of the public would get a "golden ticket" to the wedding. Scam Detectives said it was unaware of these plans at the time it ran its exercise, pointing out that the news would have only added credibility to potential scams.

Scam Detectives is a voluntary project that aims to educate internet users about the dangers of online scams and ripoffs. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.