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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Twitter Earnings Blow Away Analysts' Predictions

Twitter Earnings Blow Away Analysts' Predictions

Newsy (July 29, 2014) After reporting a strong second quarter in both revenue and active monthly users, Twitter saw a big boost to its shares in after-hours trading. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Facebook Wants You To Download Its Messenger App

Why Facebook Wants You To Download Its Messenger App

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Facebook will start requiring users to download a separate Messenger application if they wish to continue using Facebook for mobile messaging. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Newsy (July 28, 2014) A Texas teen's Samsung phone apparently ignited while she slept, but what was the real problem here? 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