Feeds

German finance ministry tags fraudsters’ phishing form

Achtung

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

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
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'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
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.