Spike in malicious spam targeting personal data

Posted On 13 Dec 2013
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A recent Kaspersky Lab report has warned about the growth in malicious spam targeting user logins, passwords and confidential information. While the volume of spam is down by 2.4 percentage points, the proportion of malicious spam grew more than 1.5 times, according to the study. Compared to the previous quarter, Q3 2013 saw the level of phishing emails increase threefold. Trojan-Spy.HTML.Fraud.gen topped the rating of the most popular malicious program spread by email. This malware is designed to look like an html page used as a registration form for online banking services and is used by phishers to steal financial information. The third quarter of 2013 was full of newsworthy events which grabbed public attention, such as the birth of the royal baby in the UK, the FBI hunt for Edward Snowden and the railway accident in Spain – all these stories were used by fraudsters to distribute malware. The links contained in these emails led to compromised websites which redirected users to a page with one of the most popular exploit kits, Blackhole. In October, the author of Blackhole, known as Paunch, was arrested in Russia. What this will mean for the future of the kit remains unclear, but Kaspersky Lab experts suggest it could lead to a drop in the number of malicious ‘news’ mailings. Darya Gudkova, Head of Content Analysis and Research at Kaspersky Lab comments,” In the third quarter we came across a very interesting mass mailing where the fraudsters imitated a reply from the technical support service of a large antivirus company. The email informed the user that a file which he had allegedly sent for analysis turned out to be malware. The ‘technical support engineer’ attached a ‘signature’, advising that it would disinfect the computer. However, if users opened the attachment, they would find a malicious program detected by Kaspersky Anti-Virus as Email-Worm.Win32.NetSky.q.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.