Monday, December 06, 2010

Holiday Season Phishing Scams and Malware Campaigns

Holiday Season Phishing Scams and Malware Campaigns

Original release date: November 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm
Last revised: November 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm


In the past, US-CERT has received reports of an increased number of
phishing scams and malware campaigns that take advantage of the winter
holiday and holiday shopping season. US-CERT reminds users to remain
cautious when receiving unsolicited email messages that could be part
of a potential phishing scam or malware campaign.

These phishing scams and malware campaigns may include but are not
limited to the following:
* electronic greeting cards that may contain malware
* requests for charitable contributions that may be phishing scams
and may originate from illegitimate sources claiming to be
charities
* screensavers or other forms of media that may contain malware
* credit card applications that may be phishing scams or identity
theft attempts
* online shopping advertisements that may be phishing scams or
identity theft attempts from bogus retailers

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to use caution when
encountering these types of email messages and take the following
preventative measures to protect themselves from phishing scams and
malware campaigns:
* Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages.
* Use caution when opening email attachments. Refer to the Using
Caution with Email Attachments Cyber Security Tip for more
information on safely handling email attachments.
* Maintain up-to-date antivirus software.
* Review the Federal Trade Commission's Charity Checklist.
* Verify charity authenticity through a trusted contact number.
Trusted contact information can be found on the Better Business
Bureau National Charity Report Index.
* Refer to the Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams (pdf) document
for more information on avoiding email scams.
* Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks
Cyber Security Tip for more information on social engineering
attacks.
* Refer to the Shopping Safely Online Cyber Security Tip for more
information on online shopping safety.

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This entry is available at
http://www.us-cert.gov/current/index.html#holiday_season_phising_scams_and

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