December 13, 2012 - 12:00
Users also encountered malicious links in Twitter direct messages and a Trojan posing as a popular mobile application
GFI Software™ today released its VIPRE® Report for November 2012, a collection of the 10 most prevalent threat detections encountered last month. In November, GFI threat researchers encountered email threats disguised as notices from American Express®, DHL®and UPS® as the holiday season kicked into full gear, as well as a phony Twitter® Video application on Facebook and mobile malware disguised as the latest Angry Birds® game.
“One unfortunate reality about the holiday season is that while many people choose to spread good cheer, Internet users can also count on cybercriminals to spread malware. They prey on the stresses of last-minute gift buying, hoping to distract consumers from being cautious with their personal information online,” said Christopher Boyd, senior threat researcher at GFI Software. “Cybercriminals have a large pool of potential victims at this time of year as more and more people flock to online shops to buy holiday gifts and ship them with their favorite package delivery company. No matter how crazy the season gets, users need to remember to practice the same good habits such as double checking the source of email messages and confirming the destination of links before clicking.”
One cybercrime campaign delivered fake DHL Express delivery notifications to users’ inboxes claiming that DHL was unable to make a delivery to the victims’ addresses and that they needed to go to their local DHL office to present a postal receipt and claim the package. Users attempting to print their receipt were redirected to a number of websites leading to a phony antivirus program which infected users’ machines, blocked other applications from running, caused pop-ups and redirected victims to messages designed to scare them into purchasing the fake antivirus software. Another international shipping company, UPS, also had its brand hijacked for a similar malware campaign.
American Express customers were targeted with malicious email campaigns designed to infect users’ systems. One claimed that a money transfer had been aborted and contained a number of links to “review the billing statement” and “set alert preferences”. If a user clicked any of these links, they were redirected to a malicious site and infected with Cridex if the Blackhole exploit kit housed there detected any unpatched vulnerabilities on their machine.
GFI found that users also continued to be at risk of falling for other familiar scams in November. Twitter users were the victim of malicious direct messages linking to a phishing page disguised as a “Twitter Video” application on Facebook. Users who clicked on the link and submitted their login credentials to the cybercriminals were also infected with a Trojan disguised as an Adobe® Flash® Player update. Elsewhere, Android™ users looking to try the new Angry Birds Star Wars® game without visiting the legitimate Google Play™ store may have also come across a fake version of the game that contained a Boxer Trojan. Users who installed the application had their phones hijacked to send premium SMS messages before being redirected to a legitimate download of the actual game.
Top 10 Threat Detections for November
GFI’s top 10 threat detection list is compiled from collected scan data of tens of thousands of VIPRE Antivirus customers who are part of GFI’s ThreatNet™ automated threat tracking system. ThreatNet statistics revealed that Trojans once again dominated the list taking half of the top ten 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.