February 29, 2012

Who is already an Olympic Games 2012 winner?


As announced by our Security Predictions for 2012, the imminent start of the Olympic Games 2012 is a good worldwide event for phishing authors as well as malicious bots. They will most likely begin utilizing this vector to spread their attempts at masquerading as legitimate sites, organizations, or services to trick users into divulging information. Websense® Security LabsTM and the Websense ThreatSeeker® Network have detected and tracked a significant number of these kinds of Olympic phishing messages whose goal is to entice users to submit their personal information.


The phishing theme used in the following example is the well-known "National Lottery"-type scam, where the targeted users are tricked into believing they are winners of some sort of local lottery. We detected email like the one below:


Once the user opens the Microsoft Word document,  the sender informs the user that he or she is the lucky "winner" of £200,00.00 GBP, and then requests that the user provide personal information, such as full name, address, nationality, occupation, and mobile number to help process the claim. 


Although this email attachment is not malicious, it is clear that the sender has some other questionable activity in mind by asking for and collecting personal information. This could range from email spam using the victim's email address and mobile phone number to other rogue promotional messages that could potentially have web links leading to malicious websites. Threats like these Olympics scams are also known as advanced-fee fraud in which victims are asked to contact a claims agent. They may then be asked to pay "processing fees" to receive their money, which never happens. Here's another example that confirms this hypothesis:


This is also a good way to collect, with social engineering techniques, mobile phone numbers and to start other kinds of fraudulent activities like asking for details about mobile banking accounts.Websense customers are protected from these threats by ACE, our Advanced Classification Engine.


Forcepoint-authored blog posts are based on discussions with customers and additional research by our content teams.

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