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Trojan Ruins Monopoly’s Online Gaming Experience

In a most recent social-engineering ploy, security experts have identified a new spam campaign, trying to attract users to download a Monopoly game, which is, in fact, more or less like Russian roulette game.

This scam is allegedly scheduled to become active during the regional qualification rounds for the Monopoly World Championships, set to take place in the later part of 2009, in Las Vegas. Scammers are making the best out of this opportunity to trick people, as the Monopoly Regional Championships are taking place worldwide, involving participation of a large number of Monopoly enthusiasts.

Revealing the modus operandi of the swindlers in brief, security experts stated that the e-mail appears to be an inoffensive invite from an arbitrary user. The subject line of the message goes like "Tom has invited you to play Monopoly" or "Play Online Together".

The recipients are greeted with a genuine-looking webpage as soon as they follow the given link to monopoly2009.com. The webpage advertises "Monopoly", by giving a brief account of the game's history along with few fun facts. Also, it certainly persuades users to download the application with the help of various links scattered throughout the webpage.

It is noted that no malicious code is injected on the system if the user simply visits the webpage. Users need to download and install monopoly.exe, delivered by the website. However, downloading this executable file is just the beginning of the entire process.

Quite common ploy used by the hackers is that the code being installed as a result of download is merely a beginning. At this moment, Trojan becomes activated on the system of the victim, establishes links with other PC and downloads the second stage of the malicious code. This malicious code converts machines into a spam-distributing zombie promoting Canadian Pharmacy products.

Creators of this fake website even included an effective technique that suggests that people are right now playing the game online. This make things appear more realistic, helping scammers to sell the deception.

Finally, Carl Leonard, Security Research Manager, Websense, commented that because of a few deceitful cybercriminals, online gaming experience of Monopoly is at risk, reported Webuser on September 22, 2009.

Related article: Trojans to Target VoIP in 2006

» SPAMfighter News - 10/15/2009

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