This report, which is based upon information from law enforcement and complaints
submitted to the IC3, details recent cyber crime trends and new twists to previously-existing
Social Network Misspelling Scam
During December 2010, the IC3 discovered misspellings of a social network site being
used as a social engineering ploy. Misspelling the domain name of this site would
redirect users to websites coded to look similar to the actual website. The website
users were redirected to answer three or four simple survey questions. Upon answering
those questions, users were offered a choice of three free gifts. Multiple brands
were observed as being offered as gifts, including gift cards to retail stores and
various brands of laptops.
After clicking on one of the gifts, users were further redirected to other websites
claiming to give free gifts for completing surveys. The surveys typically asked
for name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. A user could spend hours filling
out multiple surveys and never receive any of the gifts advertised.
Fake Online Receipt Generator Targets Unsuspecting Online Marketplace Merchant
A new scam aims to swindle online marketplace sellers by generating fake receipts.
This Receipt Generator is an executable file that has been circulating on hacking
forums recently. This is a particularly interesting scam - because it does not target
regular PC users, it targets the sellers on online marketplace websites. This is
what the would-be social engineer sees when running the program:
The social engineer can fill in a variety of information, including item name, price,
and the date the order was taken. Additionally, it allows them to choose between
the .com, .co.uk, .fr, and .ca marketplace portals. When they hit "Generate," an
HTML file is created in the program folder which looks like this:
The program produces what appears to be a genuine marketplace receipt and a copy
of the "Printable Order Summary," similar to the documents resulting from legitimate
marketplace purchases. Note the small details, such as "Total before tax," "Sales
tax," and other particulars that make the receipt convincing.
Many sellers on these markets will ask the buyer to send them a copy of the receipt
should the buyer run into trouble, have orders go missing, lose the license key
for a piece of software, and so on. The scammer relies on the seller to accept the
printout at face value without checking the details. After all, how many sellers
would be aware someone went to the trouble of creating a fake receipt generator?
Sellers must remain ever vigilant about this scam, which has been a popular topic
in recent hacker forums. The VirusTotal detection rate is currently 1/43 – detected as Hacktool.Win32.Amagen.A.
Malicious Code In .gov E-mail
A recent malware campaign, disguised as a holiday greeting from the White House,
targeted government employees. The recipient received the below e-mail with links
to what masqueraded as a greeting card, but when they clicked on the link, it attempted
to download a file named "card.exe." The executable program proved to be an information-stealing
Trojan, which would disable the recipient’s computer security notifications, software
updates, and firewall settings. The malware also installed itself into the computer’s
registry, enabling the code to be executed every time the computer was rebooted.
At the time of review, this particular malicious code sample had a low antivirus
detection rate of 20%, with only 9 out of 43 antivirus companies reporting detection.
From: email@example.com [mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10:33 PM
To: recipient's name
Subject: Merry Christmas, recipient's name
Recipient’s name here,
As you and your families gather to celebrate the holidays, we wanted to take a moment
to send you our greetings. Be sure that we're profoundly grateful for your dedication
to duty and wish you inspiration and success in fulfillment of our core mission.
Executive Office of the President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Source: FBI, February 2011
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