Bogus Google Files site earns revenue through premium rate SMS micro payments

Summary:Security researchers from AegisLab have stumbled upon a bogus Google Search themed web site, offering downloads of multiple files in exchange for a SMS sent to a premium rate number.

Security researchers from AegisLab have stumbled upon a bogus Google Search themed web site, offering downloads of multiple files in exchange for a SMS sent to a premium rate number.

The bogus web site offers downloads of music, programs, books, movies and adult content. This isn't the first time that scammers attempt to trick end and corporate users into interacting with their fraudulent campaigns. By brand-jacking a legitimate and trusted company's Web reputation, they successfully social engineer thousands of users into falling victims in them fraudulent schemes.

In 2008 and 2009 I profiled two diversified domain portfolios of legitimate software offered for download in case the user sends a premium rate SMS to the numbers provided. Back then, the campaign was managed by the bogus Interactive Brands Inc. company.

Thanks to the easy to obtain premium rate phone numbers, scammers continue actively looking for new ways to monetize content that's often available for free. Users are advised to avoid interacting with such services, as next to selling publicly obtainable software, they often harvest and resell the mobile phone numbers to vendors of managed SMS spam services.

Find out more about Dancho Danchev at his LinkedIn profile.

Topics: Security

About

Dancho Danchev is an independent security consultant and cyber threats analyst, with extensive experience in open source intelligence gathering, and cybercrime incident response. He's been an active security blogger since 2007, and maintains a popular security blog sharing real-time threats intelligence data with the rest of the community... Full Bio

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