Phishing Fraud Attacks Exploiting London Bombing

By | August 4, 2005

SurfControl today announced a newly emerging blended Internet attack that takes advantage of humanitarians wishing to make charitable donations to those who suffered during the recent London terrorist bombing. These attacks impact both enterprises as well as consumers who are enticed by the fraudulent URLs designed to collect personal and financial information and facilitate the downloading Trojans, viruses and worms.

This specific phishing attack involving the London terrorist bombings solicits recipients for donations from what appears to be a non-profit organization. When recipients open the message, they are directed to click on a URL link to receive their message. The site redirects the message to another URL where a sophisticated phishing attack is initiated, designed to collect personal and financial information. The URLs also allow a Download.Trojan to initiate which redirects Internet users to a specific FTP or Web site, where it attempts to download new Trojans, viruses, worms and their components. The Trojans download the files and then execute them.

Other scams have also surfaced regarding the London bombing. One e-mail hoax claims passengers on the London Tube system can contact emergency services via a satellite signal from their mobile phones. Another blended threat using both e-mail and fax is disguised as an official letter from a contact out of the country that claims to have funds for families of deceased victims. This is not the first time a worldwide event has triggered malicious blended attacks via e-mail.

“Malicious attacks blending e-mail and Web access continue to rise and organizations worldwide remain unprepared,” said Susan Larson, SurfControl´s vice president of Global Threat Analysis. “These scammers are getting smarter and are evolving their techniques to quickly and easily enter the corporate network. This opens the door to a maze of intricate and debilitating effects enterprises and consumers alike, particularly when malicious payloads can fraudulently gain financial or other sensitive information. Companies need to provide constant education to users to help identify new and emerging e-mail scams, and automate protection through multiple layers of Web and e-mail security.”

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