Tax-related Scam E-mails Serve Malware
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States set off January 4, 2012 as the first date of the season for filing tax returns. Not waiting longer, opportunistic malware purveyors have thus started distributing tax-related scam e-mails to unwary users, reports Help Net Security in news on January 23, 2012.
Understandably, a security firm called Trend Micro lately found spam mails that pretended to be a notification sent from the renowned U.S financial institution, Fidelity Investments. A sample from these e-mails that looks like a newsletter bears the header "Your statement is ready for your review," while its text states that the recipient can review his statement that is ready and given in an attachment.
Incidentally, the attachment is a zipped archive and the spam mail lures the recipient towards viewing it as well as taking a print out of its content which is a .doc file. But, upon viewing, the user instead downloads and executes one Zeus variant that tracks the online operations of that user related to finance and fiches his login credentials like for Internet banking.
Specifically, the zipped archive carries a malicious program identified as TSPY_ZBOT.SMHA, which can seize the end-user's online banking details. Similar to other ZBOT samples, this malicious program too can know anytime a contaminated end-user accesses target websites for Internet banking, following which it filches info such as account numbers, PINs (personal identification numbers) and so on.
Lately, during January itself, IRS e-mail frauds proliferated the same day as the last date set to pay taxes across USA. The messages summoned victims for updating their software so they might comply with fresh rules for tax payment, while gave an associated web-link. However, the said web-link led the victims onto one impersonated IRS site where they were directed for providing personal information towards validation that they held the software.
Naturally, it's being advised to end-users that they should maintain extra caution while handling unsolicited e-mails. Also they must remember that they can file their returns till April 17, 2012 around which time they may get several additional malevolent e-mails on the tax theme.
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» SPAMfighter News - 28-01-2012