Barack Obama’s campaign and eventual election to the United States presidency proved an excellent opportunity for cybercriminals in their malicious operations. News about the president-elect was a popular, and most of the time effective, social engineering technique used to trick unknowing Web users into downloading and installing malicious files in their PCs.
Web threats that feature Obama-related baits may have died down after what has been a historic election, however users could expect more of them before and after his inauguration on January, 20th. At the begin of the week TrendLabs researchers predicted that soon cybercriminals will take advantage of this event. Ticket scams were considered to be a most probable cybercriminal attack.
Tickets for the said Washington occasion are for free but they are to be distributed by both Senators and Representatives of the 111th Congress, as reported on the SignOnSanDiego website. Detailed information on tickets may be found at the official web site of The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies .
Spammers might send scamming emails promising their recipients tickets to the inauguration. Non-existent tickets may be offered in exchange for money. Or they may be given away for free; users would just need to click on links or download and print tickets, where the supposed ticket turns out be malicious binaries.
Scams may not be limited to just inauguration tickets alone. The huge demand for hotel rooms, accommodations, and even parking spaces could also be potentially used in Web attacks.
Post-inauguration threats would likely include fake news and fabricated events that again may be used to lead users to malware. Threats could use the same strategies as those we saw in the elections:
- US Elections: Notable Threats
- U.S. Presidency Race Ends, New Spam Run Begins
- Obama Malware Spam Targets Latin America
- Malware Watch: Obama ‘Impeachment’ Spam
Trend Micro continues to monitor threats related to Obama’s inauguration.