Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

8/27/2008
03:53 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Spammers Use 'Hijacked' Babies To Lure Victims

The social engineering campaign includes an attached file, purportedly a photo of the recipient's child, but which is, of course, malware.

As part of their ongoing experiments to see which outlandish claims can dupe e-mail recipients into opening malicious messages, spammers have apparently taken to ransoming babies.

As noted by researchers at message security company Sophos, spammers have launched a social engineering campaign in which the sender claims to have "hijacked" the recipient's baby.

"We have hijacked your baby but you must pay once to us $50,000," the ransom message says, with a sentence structure that suggests further study of English grammar might be warranted. "The details we will send later..."

The attached file, purportedly a photo of the recipient's child, is, of course, malware. Sophos identifies it as Troj/Resex-Fam.

"There's no other way of putting it -- this attack is sick," wrote Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, in an online post. "Hackers have no qualms about exploiting a family's natural instinct to defend its most vulnerable members. Hopefully people will pause before opening the attachment, but the reflex action of some may be to click first and think later."

This is not the first time online scammers have resorted to such tactics. In February, the FBI reiterated previous warnings about a long-standing spam campaign that threatens the recipient with death if payment isn't made. The threat, said the FBI, is a hoax.

That's not to say extortion and kidnapping aren't real problems. In many parts of the world, like Mexico, such crimes regularly make the headlines. But people making general threats via e-mail, without any reference to the recipient's identity or circumstances, are probably more interested in stealing personal information than infants.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: "The security team seem to be taking SiegeWare seriously" 
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19594
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
reset/modules/fotoliaFoto/multi_upload.php in the RESET.PRO Adobe Stock API Integration for PrestaShop 1.6 and 1.7 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by uploading a .php file.
CVE-2019-19595
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
reset/modules/advanced_form_maker_edit/multiupload/upload.php in the RESET.PRO Adobe Stock API integration 4.8 for PrestaShop allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by uploading a .php file.
CVE-2019-3690
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
The chkstat tool in the permissions package followed symlinks before commit a9e1d26cd49ef9ee0c2060c859321128a6dd4230 (please also check the additional hardenings after this fix). This allowed local attackers with control over a path that is traversed by chkstat to escalate privileges.
CVE-2013-0243
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
haskell-tls-extra before 0.6.1 has Basic Constraints attribute vulnerability may lead to Man in the Middle attacks on TLS connections
CVE-2018-10021
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
Improper validation of URL redirection in the Kubernetes API server in versions prior to v1.14.0 allows an attacker-controlled Kubelet to redirect API server requests from streaming endpoints to arbitrary hosts. Impacted API servers will follow the redirect as a GET request with client-certificate c...