Monday, October 06, 2008

Fake Windows XP Activation Trojan Wants Your CVV2 Code

In a self-contradicting social engineering attempt, a malware author is offering to sale a (updated version of Kardphisher) DIY fake Windows XP activation builder, which despite the fact that it claims "We will ask for your billing details, but your credit card will NOT be charged", is requesting and remotely uploading all the credit card details required for a successfully credit card theft.

Perhaps among the main reasons why such simplistic social engineering attempts never scaled in a "malicious economies of scale" approach, is because sophisticated crimeware kits capable of obtaining the very same data automatically, started leaking for everyone to start taking advantage of - including yesterday's cybercriminals using such DIY fake message builders.

Moreover, according to recently reseased survey results, end users cannot distinguish between fake popups and real ones, and on their way to continue doing what they were doing, click OK on that pesky warning message telling them that they're about to get infected with malware. Taking into consideration the fact that the popup windows the researchers used look like cheap creative compared to the average fake security software's layout high quality GUIs, it is perhaps worth restating your research questions with something in the lines of - What motivates end users to install an antivirus application going under the name of Super Antivirus 2009 or Mega Virus Cleaner 2008? The fact that the fake status bar is telling them that they're infected with 47 spyware cookies, or the fact that they ended up at the fake site while browsing their trusted web services?

The increase of rogue security software domains is happening due to the high payout affiliation based model, the standardized creative allowing the participants to come up with their own fake names if they want to, and due to the fact that the fake security threats scareware approach seems to be perfectly taking advantage of the overall suspicion on the effectiveness of their legitimate security software.