Phishing for different markets

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 21, 2011

Scam emails trying to steal CO2 emission credits and World-of-Warcraft accounts.

Two unrelated phishing campaigns seen doing the rounds recently show that it's not just real money that criminals are trying to steal via email scams.

The first campaign targets EU-based companies and attempts to gain access to accounts with the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS). This is a market within the European Union where companies can sell surplus CO2 emission credits, or indeed buy more if they need them.

The emails have been seen in various languages and are targeted at people in charge of emission trading. As is common in phishing campaigns, the emails state that the user has to log into the system (via a link provided in the message) to activate increased security. But doing so, of course, allows the attackers to steal the user's login credentials, potentially resulting in the company losing large amounts of money.

The amount of money involved in the online game World-of-Warcraft (WoW) is of a much smaller scale, but the popularity of the game nevertheless makes it a prime target for phishers. Indeed, many users are willing to pay real money for virtual gold in order to improve their status within the game.

A phishing email has been circulating suggesting that some changes have been made to the user's WoW account and urging the user to review the changes in case it was not them who made them. The link in the email, of course, goes to a website controlled by the criminals behind the scam and allows the attackers to harvest the user's login details. However, even to an experienced user, it is hard to distinguish the fake website from the official WoW website.

More details on the latter scam are available on Sophos's Naked Security blog here, while F-Secure's blog has more on the EU ETS scam here.

Posted on 21 January 2011 by Virus Bulletin

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