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Cybercrooks have launched a "Google AdWords" phishing campaign in an attempt to trick marks into handing over sensitive login credentials to a bogus, newly registered, website.

Spam messages promoting the ruse falsely claim that a recipient's campaign has been stopped and they need to login to their "Adwords account" in order to reactivate it. The widely distributed spam messages link to a realistic replica of the Google AdWords page, net security firm Sophos warns.

The dodgy site – google-oa.net – was only registered this week.

Google AdWords accounts normally use the same login credentials as other associated Google accounts (Gmail, Google Docs etc). It could be that the fraudsters behind the scam are just as interested in these accounts as in compromised access to Google AdWords accounts, though this much remains unclear.

The whole scheme further illustrates that phishing fraudsters are going after a wider range of targets outside of old favourites such as PayPal and online banking accounts. Phishing fraudsters in Brazil, for example, have begun targeting air miles accounts, trading stolen vouchers as a form of currency in exchange for renting access to botnets via underground markets.

Intended victims of the air miles or Google AdWords scams might be less aware of the risk and therefore more likely to respond to fraudulent emails, perhaps. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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