Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New computer virus disguised as social security administration download

Date:
November 27, 2009
Source:
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Summary:
A new spam campaign using false e-mails made to look like messages from the Social Security Administration is capable of stealing Social Security numbers and downloading malware onto victims' home computers, says a computer forensics expert.

A new spam campaign using false e-mails made to look like messages from the Social Security Administration is capable of stealing Social Security numbers and downloading malware onto victims' home computers, says Gary Warner, director of computer forensics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

The campaign was discovered Nov. 23 by Warner and his team in the UAB Spam Data Mine.

"In this continued difficult economy, these cyber criminals are now preying on victims' concerns over money, promising Social Security payouts and tax breaks to victims that sign in to the criminals' fake Social Security Web pages," Warner says.

The spam messages tell users that there are errors with their Social Security statement then asks them to link to false pages made to look like the Social Security Administration Web site. Warner says the false pages ask users to enter their Social Security numbers before prompting them to download their fake statement.

"The reality is that the download is actually a virus capable of stealing personal information, including bank passwords, from home computers," Warner says. "So once you have completed the login and download, the cyber criminals not only have your Social Security number, they also have infected your computer with serious malware that enables them to steal information and raid your bank and other accounts."

Warner says the UAB Spam Data Mine uncovered the new Social Security scam during its daily routine searchers for the top spam campaigns, which are conducted every 15 minutes due to the high volume of spam arriving in the data mine's inboxes each day.

"This morning (Nov. 23) over the course of just two search periods, or just one half hour, we went from zero instances of the Social Security spam to uncovering some 600 samples of the spam," Warner said. "So we have not only uncovered a very new campaign, but a quick-spreading one as well."

Warner reminds computer users that no legitimate company or agency would ever ask users to update or review records via e-mail, but instead would request they do so only through that company's own Web site. E-mails requesting account updates should not be considered legitimate, Warner says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alabama at Birmingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alabama at Birmingham. "New computer virus disguised as social security administration download." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127135739.htm>.
University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2009, November 27). New computer virus disguised as social security administration download. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127135739.htm
University of Alabama at Birmingham. "New computer virus disguised as social security administration download." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127135739.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nintendo Changed Gaming World, but Its Future Uncertain: Upstone

Nintendo Changed Gaming World, but Its Future Uncertain: Upstone

AFP (Apr. 19, 2014) The Nintendo Game Boy celebrates its 25th anniversary Monday and game expert Stephen Upstone says the console can be credited with creating a trend towards handheld gaming devices. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nearly Two Weeks On, The Internet Copes With Heartbleed

Nearly Two Weeks On, The Internet Copes With Heartbleed

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) The Internet is taking important steps in patching the vulnerabilities Heartbleed highlighted, but those preventive measures carry their own costs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook To Share Nearby Friends Data With Advertisers

Facebook To Share Nearby Friends Data With Advertisers

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) A Facebook spokesperson has confirmed the company will use GPS data from the new Nearby Friends feature for advertising sometime in the future. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins