Feeds

German finance ministry tags fraudsters’ phishing form

Achtung

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The German Ministry of Finance has applied some lateral thinking in order to warn potential victims of a new phishing campaign.

Fraudulent tax refund emails doing the rounds in Germany seek to con marks into handing over sensitive information in order to claim a tax refund. The scam email uses images pulled from the genuine German Ministry of Finance in order to lend authenticity to the scam.

In response, the ministry have changed the images, with tagged photos warning potential marks that something was amiss, a far more effective warning approach than the standard tactic of posting a warning notice on the site.

Local security firm G-Data parsed the ministry's tactics as "a clever initiative to spread a genuine warning within a fake data submission form", in an advisory containing screenshots and more detail on the scam on its site here.

Phishers might change tactics to avoid including images from sites they are attempting to impersonate if this sort of countermeasure takes off but that would make convincing scams more time-consuming and difficult to create, no bad thing in itself.

The German Ministry of Finance doesn't even handle tax refunds, the job of local tax offices in Germany. That and the poor grammar in the scam emails probably meant few locals would be taken in by the ruse. For those few that slipped through the net, the changes to the pictures made on its site by the German Ministry of Finance might have cut the number of victims even further. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.