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E-Cards, Always not For Good Wishes

A security researcher said that cyber criminals are using e-cards that pose to have come from an anonymous person to launch identity theft scams to collect vital & private information.

Mr. Roger Thompson, chief technology officer of security firm EPL (Exploit Prevention Labs), informed that residents of Australia and the US have already fallen into the scam trap. According to him, they have disclosed their sensitive details, like credit card numbers, login IDs and passwords, and Internet banking particulars to these hackers.

The scam distributes e-mails that claim to be e-cards or greeting cards originating from Yahoo or Blue Mountain, says Mr. Thompson. The e-mail asks to open the link in it to view the card. When the reader opens the link he/ she sees that a website hosts a malware. The malware secretly installs keylogger software on the computer. Only after this, the e-card appears. All this happens very quickly and goes unnoticed. Unless someone is clever enough to look at the source of the e-mail, no one can actually know about it.

The attack manipulates 'MS Windows Operating System' to install the keylogger software and by the use of a rootkit program it escapes detection. The scam can be prevented if the PC is clogged with the MS06-014 patch.

The e-mail apparently comes from one of the major e-card companies. Therefore, people don't suspect it, although the user is unable to recognize the sender's name on the card. The user clicks the link to see the card. But since it doesn't tell whom it is from, he/ she may not be interested and close it. However, during the process a rootkit has already been delivered on the PC.

The attack is believed to have begun in April with many mails generating every week. Also the attacker could be collecting a 200 MB file containing recent information from certain server every week. The server has been identified and reported to authorities in US and Australia.

The victims of this attack are mostly customers of Australian banks. The attack, using names of different e-card companies, has also affected people of North America, Europe and Asia.

Related article: E-Crime Reporting Format To Be Launched in July

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