iPhone 'winners' become zombies

iPhone 'winners' become zombies

Summary: Spammers are exploiting the excitement over Apple's smartphone release, by sending malicious emails to fool recipients into thinking they have won their own iPhone

TOPICS: Security

As Apple's new gadget sells out across the US, spammers are exploiting the situation by sending emails 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 emails that contain a link which, if clicked on, will attempt to connect to a website and install malicious software designed to take control of the victim's 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," Henry said.

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The criminals behind this scam are using sophisticated techniques to thwart security firms. For example, the website 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" website.

"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.

Topic: 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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  • Useless and Irresponsible FUD Continues

    I really wish Munir Kotadia and/or the editors (i.e., whoever is responsible for the vacuum of specific information in this story) would lose their jobs for failing to specify the browser(s), platform(s), system(s), and/or space/time continuum(s) affected by the risk described.

    I'd expect a professional journalist writing in ZDNet UK to answer a few more of the 5 W's more successfully (What, When, Where, Why, and Whow).

    According to ZDNet UK, there is an implication that the public is in some sort of danger through some sort of fault of iPhones. Now, I do believe there are thousands of tech writers and journals that could have provided actual useful information to the reader on the facts(?) behind this story, murky as they may be. In Civics class in my high school, the purpose of journalism was to inform the reader in order to support better decision-making. Apparently when ZDNet went to Civics class it spent all its time in the back corner of the classroom helping Crazy Melvin screw goldfish through the pencil sharpener. All in favor of sending ZDNet back to Civics class for a couple of days and hoping they pay attention this time say "Aye!"

    Supposedly, the motto of this online journal is "Where Technology Means Business". I'd suspect in practice the motto followed is more like "Where the Facts (and the public's interest) Mean Nothing".
  • iPhone phishing

    Hey David,

    Thanks for your comment.

    While I can understand that the headline on this article may appear alarmist
    Andrew Donoghue
  • Gone Phishing

    Unfortunately the ones most likely to be taken in by these kind of scams are the least likely to be reading this site.

    These kind of scams are nothing new and thanks for the information... but I feel it could have been covered in a less sensationalist way.