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7/12/2012
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Blast Phishing Attack Fooled Many Users

Spam disguised as convincing emails from LinkedIn, Facebook, and other trusted entities were one targeted operation aimed at stealing online financial credentials, say Trend Micro researchers.

Recent widespread spam runs posing as convincing-looking email messages from LinkedIn, Facebook, ADP, American Express, US Airways, the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, and several other high-profile organizations are all part of a single, orchestrated attack campaign using the Blackhole exploit kit and aimed at stealing victims' online financial credentials, Dark Reading has learned.

Researchers at Trend Micro say they found multiple common threads that tie the spam messages together as one effort by one cybercriminal group, or multiple groups working together. "It's one operation probably run by two to three individuals very focused on the theft of financial credentials," and likely out of Eastern Europe, said Tom Kellermann, VP of cybersecurity at Trend Micro. The attackers are using mostly Zeus and Cridex malware variants in the attacks via the Blackhole Exploit Kit, he says.

But this is not your father's spam: The attackers blended phishing, spear-phishing, drive-by downloads, and traffic redirection all into one attack. "Spam is not the right word for this," Kellermann said. "I call this phenomenon 'blast phishing' or 'dynamite phishing.'" And the attackers have done their homework on victims, as well, he says, targeting groups that have trusted relationships with specific organizations, for example.

Read the rest of this article on Dark Reading.

Employees and their browsers might be the weak link in your security plan. The new, all-digital Endpoint Insecurity issue of Dark Reading shows how to strengthen them. (Free registration required.)

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