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UK People Warned About ‘Tax Cut’ Phishing Campaign

Sophos, an IT security and control firm, has asked web users to remain vigilant. This warning has come in the wake of a new phishing campaign that seems to have exploited the news that the UK Chancellor is likely to announce tax cuts before budget.

SophosLabs has intercepted some e-mail samples that claim to have been coming from the 'UK Government & Ministry of Finance' and attract people with return tax offer for every individual aged from 30 to 55 years. Interested users, who want to take advantage of the offer that includes money between £450 and £650 for family maintenance, are directed to a fake web page where personal information such as marital status, age and number of children is asked to build identity profiles.

According to the security experts, the fake identity of e-mails was quite simple to find. When they checked the source code of an e-mail to ensure that it was not a nasty offer in format of malicious JavaScript code, they discovered that the page was made in rush by using two different phishing kits. The first hint that the e-mail is fake comes from the page title "Robobank - Complete" instead of Rabobank. When they checked the HTML source, the style sheet used was taken from The Farmers and Merchants Bank of Central California. At the end of the page, a link was provided referring to Rabobank Americas' corporate information page.

Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant, Sophos, said that cyber criminals are taking advantage of the current situation as people are concerned about their finances and job security, as reported by InfoZine on November 25, 2008.

He further added that people who are eagerly waiting for the recession-busting tax cuts by the government should rely on the legitimate channels of information and neglect messages or links asking for personal data. Moreover, as the Christmas season is round the corner, this campaign is expected to exploit trends that generally start during this season of special offers and vouchers through e-mails.

Security experts at Sophos have recommended computer users to stay vigilant. They have also asked users to take all precautions before opening an unsolicited e-mail and ensure that their systems are fully secured.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

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