Well-simulated e-mail messages present a considerable risk to PC owners

October 7, 2010

2 Min Read


MUNICH, VIENNA & ZURICH, October 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ --

Retarus GmbH has sent out a warning in response to a current wave of fake contact requests via the social media platform LinkedIn. These well-simulated e-mail messages present a considerable risk to PC-owners. Unsuspecting users are lured into a trap via the seemingly well-intentioned e-mails and their PCs are infected with malware in an attempt to gain access to personal information.

The e-mails, which have been on the increase since 27 September, feign to be a contact request sent from the social media platform LinkedIn. Users who try to access the platform via the link are routed to an intermediary website - with the simple notification "Please waiting ... 4 seconds". From there, they are then redirected to Google. In these four seconds the spyware ZeuS is uploaded in the background and secretly installed in the PC's web browser. Cyber criminals use this new type of spam to gain access to personal information, such as access data for online banking.

Social media spam is on the increase. Retarus analyses have shown that one in three spam e-mails are clearly sent in the guise of social networks. Retarus Managing Director, Martin Hager, warns, "Social media spam is particularly dangerous because the contents seem well-intended, and the original e-mails are so perfectly imitated, that lay persons are unable to identify them as fakes. Mail users who have defined social media platforms as safe senders, via whitelist entries in their spam filters, are especially affected."

Retarus security experts, therefore, recommend that users not respond to contact requests, especially from unknown senders, and delete these e-mails immediately. To verify the authenticity of contact requests, it is recommended that users avoid logging in to their social network by clicking on a link which has been sent via e-mail.

This press release and visual material can be accessed at http://www.retarus.com. The caption is: "Fake LinkedIn message". Copy for editorial purposes is available free of charge under the reference "Retarus".

About Retarus

Efficient business processes as well as smooth and transparent electronic communication are important success factors for every business. In order to meet these demands, Retarus has been developing and operating managed services from its own computer centres since 1992. The portfolio provides optimized business process communication with maximum security and high performance. Retarus provides services to over 3,000 international customers from all sectors, including companies such as Allianz, Adidas, Banco Santander, Bayer, Continental, Dtwyler, Edeka, Honda, Linde, O2, Puma, Revlon, Sony and Zeiss.

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