Malware Being Circulated via Spam E-mails
The Australian Taxation Office has recently warned that, the cybercrooks are distributing malware through a spam campaign, as reported by ITNews on February 28, 2011.
These fake scam e-mails purported to be from the ATO and enclosed a type of the notorious Zeus malware, Trojan.Zbot. This virus was enclosed in a zip file named 'Restore your account'. Besides, a message was added in the file that asked receivers to furnish their confidential and financial details to get a refund.
Commenting on the whole incidence, security firm Symantec stated that, Trojan.Zbot negatively affected Windows Vista and earlier Windows operating systems and was utilized to compromise private and secretive information from a hacked system. The security vendor further added that, it generally collected computer information, online as well as banking details included within the Windows Protected Storage (PStore) system.
Further, commenting on the above mentioned fake scam e-mail, Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo stated that, the ATO never ever dispatch e-mails asking netizens to furnish their private, confidential, or financial information or other important details, as reported by Southern-courier on February 25, 2011. He further added that, any e-mail asking for personal information prior to a can be released is a scam.
D'Ascenzo asked netizens to be vigilant and watchful to such kind of scam and other scam behavior.
D'Ascenzo further recommended people to always use ATO online services by visiting only www.ato.gov.au. By adopting this practice netizens can ensure that they are visiting the authentic and official ATO website. As an additional precaution they suggested netizens to directly type Internet addresses into their web browser instead of clicking on links enclosed in fake e-mails or attachments.
The official ATO website includes information on this and other latest scams and scam instances that have been reported to the ATO.
Netizens can report doubtful behavior to the ATO secretively by calling on the helpline number during business hours. Doubtful unwanted e-mails pretending to be from the ATO can be forwarded to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au.
Finally, it is not just ATO, which seems to be getting reports of scam e-mails compromised with Zeus Trojan. During mid-February 2011, security firm "AppRiver" reportedly warned of a tax refund e-mail scam claiming to be from IRS (Internal Revenue Service) in the US, where too the malware was being circulated via fake scam e-mails using a variant of the Zeus Trojan.
Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious
» SPAMfighter News - 10-03-2011
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