Hackers exploit the United Kingdom’s love of the Amazon
A new threat showing up in the honeypots at Barracuda Labs is actively targeting UK Amazon.co.uk fans. As you might expect, Amazon is very popular in the British Isles* for the same reason it’s appealing in other countries – you can find almost anything there.
Hackers are firing off spam messages to take advantage of its wide appeal. Here is an example:
If you, for example, are unfortunate enough to fall into this trap, a Trojan/dropper is then installed on your computer. This insidious piece of malware can upload and execute other files. Depending on the goal of the hacker, these could do any of the following:
- Steal logins, passwords, files, bank information, or other goodies that are stored on the infected computer, or the malware may simply wait for you to type in login credentials as you access an account online.
- Turn your computer into a botnet. Then without your knowledge, it can send out thousands of spam messages across the internet. This isn’t just annoying to those who receive them, your IP address can be identified as a spammer and added to blocklists. Email you personally send can be blocked as a result.
- Use your computer as a proxy. This means the hacker uses your computer as a front for his or her operations. Everything going to and from the hacker’s computer goes through yours first. This may not sound too disruptive until you consider the possibilities. What if he/she deals in child pornography? The FBI, Britain’s SOCA/NCA or some other enforcement agency may pay you a visit. If the hacker decided to store such porn on your computer, you may have a difficult time defending yourself from criminal allegations.
What if I don’t live in the UK. Am I safe?
Not really. Although this particular spam campaign did not target the country you live in, it would take very little creativity for spammers to adapt it to your locale.
The safest course of action is to remain vigilant in spite of any anti-spam software employed to filter your email. Spammers are always working to bypass these gatekeepers and make their way into your Inbox.
*According to Alexa.com the website Amazon.co.uk is the 8th most popular site in the United Kingdom.