Cybercriminals exploit Olympic Games
Trend Micro has warned sports fans following the Olympics being held in London, citing a steep rise in malicious activity over the weekend.
In addition to the previous week’s scams on free tickets and TV cards, the weekend saw a rise in the activities across the web on email and on the mobile platform. Online scams saw an overall increase in sites claiming to offer free live broadcast of the games. Some of these sites redirected to fake live broadcast of London Olympics 2012 and contained a link for buying cheap, but bogus, tickets. So far Trend Micro has blocked 19 such sites.
Regarding mobile, Trend Micro was also alerted to reports of malicious websites disguised as Google Play store. The web page content is written in Russian and has a search box. When users search for London Olympics-related application, a rogue application, “London2012-Official game” is seen. The site also contains a QR code and download button. Once unsuspecting users click the download button, it redirects to a web hosting site that serves a variant of the ANDROIDOS_SMSBOXER malware family. This malware is notorious for sending messages to premium numbers without the user’s consent.
As for email, more than 50 spammed mails have been discovered, all of them scams related to the 2012 London Olympics. One of them claims to be a notification for an Olympic Email Lottery winner, with the user supposedly winning a large sum of cash.
Earlier, Trend Micro warned about criminals selling fake tickets and TV cards for free Olympic viewing. The company discovered the phishing site liveolympictickets.com, appearing to offer tickets for sale. Upon clicking the ‘purchase’ option on the site, users are led to a page in which they are prompted to enter a credit card number.
A confirmation page follows quickly, stating that their order is pending. A check by Trend Micro against the official London Olympics website revealed that the page was unauthorized to sell tickets. Further investigations showed that the site is indeed a phishing site aimed to capture user information.
In another attempt to lure sports fans Trend Micro recently detected a Japanese-based spam syndicate that links consumers to websites selling illegal B-CAS cards. These spammed messages – which have a subject line which translates as “Free access to all Olympic games” in English – have a link which leads to websites selling the illegal B-CAS card. The message itself says that normally, you have to pay more than 400,000 Japanese yen (€4,188) per year in order to watch premium channels. Instead, the illegal B-CAS cards allow you to watch these channels for free.
These linked sites lure users to go to links where they would supposedly be able to obtain these cards for free access Olympic viewing. While buyers are duped into believing they save ridiculously large amounts of money from the free viewing, the site does not use HTTPS, which all reputable vendors use to secure the transaction from possible interception. Not only is the site selling illegal goods, it sets up an insecure transaction that puts buyers at risk.
Trend Micro advises users not to purchase anything from these sites, as they could face criminal prosecution for merely buying these devices. Users are further advised to follow the few simple steps for more security.
First, do not be fooled by cybercriminals using reverse psychology – as a smarter approach – in which the scam actually arrives as an email advisory warning users against fake lotteries.
Second, always check the authorized dealers for tickets via the London Olympics official site.
Third, ensure that the site is secure before proceeding with dishing out any personal details such as credit card number, personal passwords and email addresses.
And finally, beware of sloppy and unprofessional emails with any signs of grammatical mistakes, or those offering ridiculously huge amounts of cash.