Story image

Valentine scams: Romancing the stony-hearted

10 Feb 10

 As we've seen so many times before, cybercriminals are not ashamed to exploit horrors like the Haiti earthquake or 9/11, so it would be naive to expect them not to make use of our warmer sentiments, too. My colleague Urban Schrott at ESET Ireland has just blogged a cautionary note on that very topic.

I recently blogged at Mac Virus about an excellent blog by Dancho Danchev on “How the Koobface gang monetarizes Mac OS X” by compromising legitimate sites with a PHP backdoor shell in an attempt to direct OS X traffic to affiliate dating programmes.

As I mentioned at the time, Dancho included a lot of detail on a range of scam dating sites that are currently active. Not surprisingly, we’re seeing somewhat related material (Russian bride scams, malware populated domains with Valentine’s Day themes) at ESET.

Here are some domains Pierre-Marc has flagged that include malware-populated pages that seem to have Valentine's Day themes. (For obvious reasons, I haven't included the full pages.)

hxxp://holidays.prosperity66.com/
hxxp://obscurepop.com/
hxxp://www.webfetti.com/
hxxp://www.3wishes.com
hxxp://www.whatstruehealth.com/
hxxp://my-vogue.com/2009/01/st-valentine-sexy-and-trendy-apparel/

I'm also hearing about large quantities of Russian Bride spam: my colleague Urban Schrott in Ireland has mentioned sites like datemeet.ru and girlandboysex.ru. Journalist Larry Seltzer has also mentioned receiving lots of this stuff.

Checking my own spam traps, I found some of those fake eCards that Randy loves so much, a sprinkling of  East European ladies wanting to get to know me, and an avalanche of Viagra spam. I wish I could tell you what my wife said about that, but this is a family blog.

By the way, quite a few of those fake eCards include bit.ly compressed URLs. You might want to watch out for those.

David Harley BA CISSP FBCS CITP
Director of Malware Intelligence

Kiwis make waves in IoT World Cup
A New Zealand company, KotahiNet, has been named as a finalist in the IoT World Cup for its River Pollution Monitoring solution.
Can it be trusted? Huawei’s founder speaks out
Ren Zhengfei spoke candidly in a recent media roundtable about security, 5G, his daughter’s detainment, the USA, and the West’s perception of Huawei.
Oracle Java Card update boosts security for IoT devices
"Java Card 3.1 is very significant to the Internet of Things, bringing interoperability, security and flexibility to a fast-growing market currently lacking high-security and flexible edge security solutions."
How SMBs can use data to drive business outcomes
With the right technology, companies can capture consumer, sales, and expense data, and use it to evaluate and construct future plans.
Survey shows that IoT is RoI across Asia Pacific
A recent Frost & Sullivan survey across Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore shows that IoT deployment improves business metrics by around 12%.
Sophos hires ex-McAfee SVP Gavin Struther
After 16 years as the APAC senior vice president and president for McAfee, Struthers is now heading the APJ arm of Sophos.
Security platform provider Deep Instinct expands local presence
The company has made two A/NZ specific leadership hires and formed several partnerships with organisations in the region.
Half of companies unable to detect IoT device breaches
A Gemalto study also shows that the of blockchain technology to help secure IoT data, services and devices has doubled in a year.