JOHANNESBURG – A global provider of cybersecurity solutions has identified a phishing campaign linked to the start of the ongoing Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) World Cup.
In the scam unearthed by Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, cyber-criminals attempt to lure would-be victims into downloading a schedule of fixtures and a result tracker.
When opened, the attachment uses a malware variant called ‘DownloaderGuide,’ a known downloader of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that is most commonly used as an installer for applications such as toolbars, adware or system optimizers. Check Point researchers have found that in total the campaign includes different executable files, all of which were sent in emails using the subject:
The campaign was first identified on May 30, peaking on June 5.
However during the past week it has gained new momentum with new instances emerging as the competition in Russia progresses.
“Events that attract huge amounts of popular interest are seen by cyber-criminals as a golden opportunity to launch new campaigns,” said Check Point’s Threat Intelligence Group Manager, Maya Horowitz.
Horowitz said with so much anticipation and hype around the World Cup, cyber-criminals were banking on employees being less vigilant in opening unsolicited emails and attachments.
As such, it is critical that organizations take steps to remind their employees of security best practices to help prevent these attacks being successful.
In addition to this, Horowitz said organizations should also take steps to ensure phishing campaigns do not reach inboxes in the first place.
“This should include employing a multi-layered cybersecurity strategy that protects against both established malware families’ cyber-attacks and brand new threats and prevents it from spreading across the network in the result of the initial campaign being successful.”
Anticipating a further range of online scams and phishing attacks during the month-long tournament, Check Point has advised the pubic to be wary of public Wi-Fi hotspots, fake websites, emails from unknown senders and keep software updated.
– CAJ News