With the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil about to kick off in less than a week, it should be no surprise that phishing sites have intensified their own spam campaigns targeting Brazilians as well.
Some of these spam runs are fairly basic, as far as these go. This particular one, for example, tries to lure users with a lottery with a jackpot prize of 5 million Brazilian reais (just short of 2.2 million US dollars).
Figure 1. Lottery phishing message
A typical phishing attack like this consists of three stages. First, the user visits the phishing site where their information is collected. In this particular case, the stolen information includes:
- Credit Card Number
- CVV code
- Month and year of card expiry
- Name of issuing bank
- Online banking password
- Owner’s email address
In the second stage, a PHP file stores all of the captured information in a text file stored on the malicious site.
Figure 2. PHP code
In this particular case, the text file is named CCS.TXT. In the third stage, this file is emailed to an address under the control of the attacker.
Figure 3. Stored information
We have found other attacks that use similar bait, although they are more obviously tied to the World Cup. Here is an example, which we first saw about a month ago:
Figure 4. World Cup-related phishing site
In addition to the usual information stolen in phishing attacks, the persons behind this also targeted two pieces of information that are not commonly stolen:
- the card’s credit limit
- the user’s Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas (CPF, or personal identification number)
The CPF is an 11-digit identification number used to identify taxpayers (both Brazilians and resident aliens) in Brazil. Like credit cards, the CPF has a defined format and algorithm that checks if the number is valid.
How big are these scams? Through our underground research, we were able to identify the size of the “hoard” of stolen credentials one of the cybercriminals using these attacks possessed. We believe that this particular cybercriminal has approximately 5000 credit cards available to sell at any given time. Some of these cards are identified by their network (i.e., Visa or Mastercard), while others are identified by their issuing bank (Bank of America was explicitly mentioned).
For stolen e-mail accounts, our cybercriminal has plenty of those too. We identified more than 80,000 accounts whose credentials had been stolen. It is particularly telling that almost 83% of these credentials were for providers with domain names in the .br top-level domain. The most common domains for these stolen credentials are in the table below:
Table 1. Distribution of stolen e-mail account credentials
This should not be a surprise, as many of these phishing scams are explicitly targeted at users in Brazil. The first example cited here used the name of the largest payment card operator in Brazil, Cielo. The CPF, as we noted earlier, is something issued only to Brazilians or foreigners who live in the country. As is the case with other scams, spam runs are the favored way to spread these attacks to users.
We are closely monitoring the threat actors behind some of these attacks, and will release more information in future blog posts.
The Race to Security hub contains aggregated TrendLabs content on security stories related to major sporting events, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup.