Perimeter
3/9/2017
09:00 AM
Steve Zurier
Steve Zurier
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

9 Phishing Lures that Could Hijack your 2017 Tax Refund

Scammers are taking an aggressive approach to tax season this year, packing attachments and links with banking Trojans, and fairly new strains of ransomware.
Previous
1 of 10
Next

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Tax season has arrived – and so have the scammers. Unfortunately, crooks either prey on people’s sense of fairness and willingness to comply with authority, or appeal to a taxpayer’s fear of paying late or not complying with the law.

Patrick Wheeler, director of threat intelligence, for Proofpoint, says social engineering is increasingly common and very effective, plus fraudsters are packing attachments and links with banking Trojans and fairly new strains of ransomware.

“In the past, the tax lures were laggards,” Wheeler says. “But not this year. They’ve been adopting more of the phishing trends and tactics that we see all year ‘round.”

Carl Leonard, principal security analyst at Forcepoint, says scammers also use various phishing scams to collect a victim’s personal financial information.

“The scams range from a letter from the IRS promising a $7.5 million refund, to a promise from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in the UK that says people can pay their taxes in the form of iTunes vouchers.”

While it can get silly, the results can be serious. Proofpoint’s Wheeler says most of these scams were discovered in February and will be active through the end of tax season.

For more information, check out the research reports from Proofpoint and Forcepoint. The nine slides are based on research from both reports.

Organizations that receive a phishing email scam involving the IRS or a W-2 form should forward it to [email protected] and place “W2 Scam” in the subject line. Organizations that fall victim to these scams should also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). 

 

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 10
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Cybersecurity's 'Broken' Hiring Process
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  10/11/2017
Ransomware Grabs Headlines but BEC May Be a Bigger Threat
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  10/12/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Search Cybersecuruty and you will get unicorn.
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
The State of Ransomware
The State of Ransomware
Ransomware has become one of the most prevalent new cybersecurity threats faced by today's enterprises. This new report from Dark Reading includes feedback from IT and IT security professionals about their organization's ransomware experiences, defense plans, and malware challenges. Find out what they had to say!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.