Saturday, 24 May 2014

Mail mimicking Irish names directs users to fake BBC weight loss site

ESET Ireland has received many examples of an email that appears as if a friend is sending you a notification, but the link in it leads to a faked BBC weight loss site, selling bogus products.

Another week, another scam. ESET Ireland has been looking at a series of spam emails with unusual “broken” subject titles, such as “Subm_itted”, “Audi_ted”, “Profus_ely?” coming in this week. The subjects are split to try to confuse spam filters a bit, but an interesting detail is the email addresses these mails are supposed to be “from” are mostly all spoofed emails of Irish users, with recognisable Irish names.

This is to achieve a certain familiarity, as everyone likely knows someone with one of the names used, and would therefore more likely click on the link. This is what social engineering is all about; tricking the user into trusting whatever fraudulent thing they’re sent.

The link takes potential victims to a website that mimics BBC Health’s layout and logos, to further trick them into believing the topic is legit and endorsed by an authoritative brand name, then tries to sell bogus weight loss products to victims, harvesting credit card details in the process.

Anyone coming across these emails is recommended to flag them as spam and to avoid clicking the link, as sometimes these links also direct to websites that infect computers with drive-by malware.