Gullible iPhone 'winners' quickly become zombies

Gullible iPhone 'winners' quickly become zombies

Summary: As Apple's new gadget sells out across the US, spammers are exploiting the situation by sending e-mails that try to dupe recipients into thinking they have won a brand new iPhone of their own.Web filtering specialist Secure Computing is warning users not to fall for the socially engineered e-mails that contain a link which, if clicked on, will attempt to connect to a Web site and install malicious software designed to take control of the victims' computer.

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As Apple's new gadget sells out across the US, spammers are exploiting the situation by sending e-mails that try to dupe recipients into thinking they have won a brand new iPhone of their own.

Web filtering specialist Secure Computing is warning users not to fall for the socially engineered e-mails that contain a link which, if clicked on, will attempt to connect to a Web site and install malicious software designed to take control of the victims' computer.

Paul Henry, vice president of technology evangelism for Secure Computing, believes that although this is the first iPhone related "phish", it certainly will not be the last: "Because of the popularity of the iPhone brand this is the first in what's bound to be a series of scams involving the iPhone".

The criminals behind this scam are using sophisticated techniques to thwart security firms. For example, the Web site is loaded with more than 10 different pieces of malicious code, each targeting a potential browser vulnerability. In addition, users that attempt to visit the site more than once are redirected to another, "safe" Web site.

"This threat is particularly insidious in that scripts within the HTML code returned to the user contain exploit code for multiple vulnerabilities to improve the malicious hacker's chances of gaining the necessary access to install the rootkit /spam bot malware," said Henry.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, Malware, Security

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.

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