June 24, 2010

iPhone Launch Triggers Nefarious Activity

Carl Leonard Principal Security Analyst

With the official launch of Apple's iPhone 4 today people are queing outside stores to get hold of the latest smart phone. 

Spammers do not miss an opportunity to jump on the hype around new product launches - especially in the case of the iPhone 4 when all 600,000 pre-orders have been allocated prior to the official launch date.  Our ThreatSeeker Network has identified iPhone 4 themed spam and Facebook wall posts. Should the users be tempted by the offer of a free iPhone 4, they are presented with affiliate campaigns to harvest email addresses to push further products on the user. 

We were seeing Facebook posts that entice users with the possibility of receiving a free iPhone 4 as shown below. 

Facebook post:


Upon clicking on the url within the Facebook post, the user then progresses through a series of data collection systems (requests for email address and full postal address) enticing users with offers of a free iPhone 4.


Within our Hosted Email Security service we are also seeing spam campaigns jumping on the iPhone 4 theme.  The example below, of which we have seen over 300,000 instances, leads to a Russian domain pushing a pharmacy website.


A second example offering a free iPhone.


More information on the queues outside stores here.


Websense Messaging and Websense Web Security customers are protected against these attacks.

Carl Leonard

Principal Security Analyst

Carl Leonard is a Principal Security Analyst within Forcepoint X-Labs. He is responsible for enhancing threat protection and threat monitoring technologies at Forcepoint, in collaboration with the company’s global Labs teams. Focusing on protecting companies against the latest cyberattacks that...

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About Forcepoint

Forcepoint is the leading user and data protection cybersecurity company, entrusted to safeguard organizations while driving digital transformation and growth. Our solutions adapt in real-time to how people interact with data, providing secure access while enabling employees to create value.