July 06, 2012 - 12:00
Cybercriminals Continue to Spam Victims While Posing as Popular Companies, According To GFI Software
Internet users are urged to monitor for red flags in any unsolicited email messages and to exercise caution when clicking on unknown links
GFI Software today released its VIPRE® Report for June 2012, a collection of the 10 most prevalent threat detections encountered last month. In June, GFI threat researchers observed two fresh spam campaigns linking to Blackhole exploits which posed as confirmation emails from Twitter® and Amazon.com®. Delta Airlines® similarly had their brand misappropriated in a spam campaign meant to infect users with Sirefef and rogue antivirus software. GFI also hosted a free webinar which provided a detailed look at the Flame virus using data gathered from GFI’s own GFI Sandbox™ technology.
“Cybercriminals are ever focused on infecting as many victims’ machines or stealing as much personal information with as little effort as possible. By disguising the source of their spam as messages from companies or organizations with widespread appeal, they can increase the number of potential victims likely to fall for their scams,” said Christopher Boyd, senior threat researcher at GFI Software. “Any notices or ‘confirmation emails’ that arrive unexpectedly, no matter how legitimate it may appear, should be thoroughly inspected before the user takes any other action. If something seems out of place, users should trust their instincts and use common sense before clicking anything that could make the situation worse.”
Throughout the month of June, phony emails claiming to be Amazon.com order confirmations were sent to unsuspecting victims in the hopes of infecting them with malware. Users who clicked any of the links contained in the email were directed to a web page that contained Blackhole exploit code. The exploit scanned the user’s system for Adobe® Reader® and Adobe Flash® before loading a Java applet that redirected the victim to web pages that hosted specially-crafted PDF exploit files depending on the version of Adobe Reader found on the system.
Another fake email posing as a Twitter account confirmation linked victims to a Russian website which housed a Blackhole exploit kit. The site deployed exploits that targeted Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash vulnerabilities which were as old as six years. It’s important to note that both of these attack campaigns could have been avoided had victims kept their software fully patched and up to date.
A bogus spam email was also discovered disguising itself as a Delta Airlines e-ticket. Users who downloaded the attachment were met with an executable file that infected their system with Sirefef and Live Security Platinum, a rogue antivirus program. This fake AV program blocked the running of all other applications and deployed constant pop-ups and browser redirects to messages alerting the user of an infection and requesting payment to clean up the system.
In June, The GFI Software Flame Task Force identified malware behavior exhibited by Flame not yet reported by other security vendors or malware researchers. To learn how GFI threat researchers were able to generate 100MB of detailed malware behavioral data on Flame in less than 5 minutes using GFI SandBox, please visithttp://vimeo.com/44382073.
Top 10 Threat Detections for June
GFI’s top 10 threat detection list is compiled from collected scan data of tens of thousands of GFI VIPRE Antivirus customers who are part of GFI’s ThreatNet™ automated threat tracking system. ThreatNet statistics revealed that Trojans continued to dominate the month, taking six of the top 10 spots.
About GFI Labs
GFI Labs specializes in the discovery and analysis of dangerous vulnerabilities and malware. The team of dedicated security specialists actively researches new malware outbreaks, creating new threat definitions on a constant basis for the VIPRE home and business antivirus products.
GFI Software provides web and mail security, archiving and fax, networking and security software and hosted IT solutions for small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) via an extensive global partner community. GFI products are available either as on-premise solutions, in the cloud or as a hybrid of both delivery models. With award-winning technology, a competitive pricing strategy, and a strong focus on the unique requirements of SMBs, GFI satisfies the IT needs of organizations on a global scale. The company has offices in the United States, UK, Austria, Australia, Malta, Hong Kong, Philippines and Romania, which together support hundreds of thousands of installations worldwide. GFI is a channel-focused company with thousands of partners throughout the world and is also a Microsoft Gold ISV Partner.