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Cybercriminals celebrate Christmas with festive fraud

20
Dec
2011

??? This year cybercriminals haven’t been
particularly active in exploiting the upcoming holiday season to
snare victims with their scams. The first evidence of a growing
trend of festive fraud only began to emerge about a week ago.
Interestingly, this year’s attacks are somewhat different from
previous years. This time round cybercriminals aren’t just going for
hard cash – they are also looking for other assets that can be
converted into money, such as air miles.


In Latin America, we have seen several festive-themed attacks that
were in some way linked to air miles.

It’s also worth remembering that there were malicious email messages
mass-mailed to English-language users a couple of weeks ago using
fake American Airlines tickets as bait.

Obviously, these virtual products are popular with cybercriminals.
We first detected attacks like this back in July
2011
, and their number has been on the increase ever since.

In some cases, cybercriminals make money from their victims without
causing any direct financial damage. For example, this year we have
seen numerous Clicker Trojans disguised as Christmas-themed
search
services.

In general, the black cybermarket works just like your local High
Street: there are discounted prices (keyloggers offered at a 50%
discount
), online stores with their Christmassy
interfaces
etc.

The recommendations are the same as ever: be careful and stay
informed about possible scams. This way you’ll minimize your chances
of falling victim to cybercrime this Christmas.

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