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Hack the halls: Watch out for Cyber Monday scamathon

Tim Greene | Nov. 26, 2014
Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year, which means it is also the single biggest opportunity for criminals to steal cash, personal information and credit card numbers.

Infection method: Infiltrate corporate networks to find a path to the POS segment and install on POS machines.

Presence: Known since 2013


Active since 2014

What it does: Captures user online bank account credentials as well as credentials for other online services. In some cases it steals cookies from browsers or digital certificates.

Infection method: Phishing emails that contain weaponized PDF attachments that exploit unpatched versions of Adobe Reader.

Presence: Was reportedly used in a phishing campaign against the likes ofBank of America, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland and JPMorgan Chase.

Phony package tracking

Emails that alert recipients to the progress of packages headed their way can be phishing attempts designed to steal personal information. These emails typically include links to follow to find out the location of a package as it wends its way, but instead leads to Web sites that download any variety of malware. But they may also ask for bank account numbers, Social Security numbers and credit card numbers that can be used in identity theft.

Charity pleas

Phishers routinely send phony emails requesting donation to help relieve the crisis of the day like Ebola, but may also solicit funding for other more general humanitarian causes that sound worthy, such as fighting hunger. Responding to them could put credit card or other personal information in danger.

Retail deals

Stores including Best Buy, Kohls, Walmart and Target as well as online retailers such as and Google Play, may have legitimate holiday bargains, but double and triple check that you are dealing with the actual sites and not mirror sites that may contain malware. Downloads could set infected machines up to leak passwords, credit card numbers, bank account information and other data that can lead to identity theft.


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