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New E-mail Scam Targets Adobe Reader Users

Researchers at security firm 'Symantec Hosted Services (MessageLabs)' have discovered a new e-mail attack in which phishers are making victims to those people who are unhappy with Adobe Reader. Phishers are offering them fake software that can replace Adobe Reader.

The security firm has highlighted that the e-mail scam uses PDF as bait. However, the e-mail is slightly different from the typical PDF related e-mails because it neither tries to exploit the vulnerabilities in the PDF format nor download malware disguising as a new PDF Reader. This e-mail scam targets people's credit card details.

The e-mail contains links that divert people to a well designed and authentic looking website. The first page contains information about the PDF format and describes program's features. The e-mail recipients are lured to click on "Download Now" button for installing the software on their computers.

When anyone clicks on the button, the software download process doesn't start rather he is diverted to a third party web page where he is asked to first register himself as member to receive the free copy of the software. While filling in the membership form, he is asked to give e-mail address, full name and country.

After the submission of details, the user is diverted to another website telling that the program is free of cost, but membership not. This page shows different options for membership priced differently. It also lures people with a free Office Suite gift.

Even at this point people realize that this is a scam and quit, phishers have gained enough information that could be used in future spam campaigns.

However, people who decide to take the membership and click on the credit card button get a form wherein he is asked to give his credit card details. In exchange, the victim gets a message displaying that his IP address is blacklisted.

As per the security experts, they first saw the scam on June 18, 2010. However, they have come across more than 13,000 spam e-mails since June 30, 2010. In totality, MessageLabs have blocked more than 26,000 phishing e-mails.

The security researchers recommend that netizens should be careful and look for signs of scams and update your antivirus software.

Related article: New Zealand Releases Code To Reduce Spam

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