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    With less than a week to go, Valentine’s Day is definitely around the corner. It has been proven that the holidays are a goldmine for cybercriminals, and there are many activities and threats online that could spoil one of the most anticipated seasons of lovers. This, after all, isn’t just time for chocolates and roses.

    As online shopping has become an easy go-to for most shoppers, there are a number of scams we’ve seen that users should be wary of. These messages persist all year, but become more common near special occasions.

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    Figure 1. Spam Message

    Take particular scam advertises a flower-delivery service. It appears to be a normal promotional e-mail, but the links actually lead to various survey scams.

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    Figure 2. Fake Pharmaceutical Sites

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    Figure 3. Watch Replica Email

    Other common threats during this period include spam messages with links to fake pharmaceutical sites and watch replica sites.

    Malware threats also arrive during this season. We recently found a new attack targeting Canadian users looking for a romantic dinner getaway. The email appears to be about a special Valentine dinner, and has an attachment.

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    Figure 4. Dinner “menu”

    The attachment is actually a malicious .RTF file (detected as TROJ_ARTIEF.VDY) , which opens the decoy dinner menu but also uses a vulnerability (CVE-2012-0158) to drop a backdoor onto the affected system. We detect this backdoor as BKDR_INJECT.VDY.

    Seasonal offers and deals are commonplace, but users should be able to spot what’s malicious and what is not. They should not throw caution to the wind by opening emails and clicking links from unknown sources. The biggest bargains aren’t always the biggest steal. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    The Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ protects users from this threat by blocking the spam mails, as well as related URLs and malware.





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