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Cyber Monday Spam Campaign Infects Users with Malware, Grabs their Credentials

November 2012

Hackers take advantage of shopping frenzy through credit card offers


A new Cyber Monday spam campaign infects users with malware and steals their identity, according to an analysis by Bitdefender®, the award-winning provider of innovative antivirus solutions.

The Monday following Black Friday is used to lure people to “Platinum Card Benefits for Cyber Monday” that inject malicious software onto their computers. Other fake offers include shopping for PJ combos, Christmas and baby gifts.

“Throughout Cyber Monday, people are in a one-day shopping frenzy, reacting fast to exciting deals,” said Bitdefender Chief Security Strategist Catalin Cosoi. “Scammers move in to take advantage of that. Bitdefender has already blocked numerous web pages promoted through Cyber Monday spam for fraud or malware attempts.”

Here are some tips to help users stay away from Cyber Monday scams:

# Refine your shopping searches. According to a popular Google tool, the expression “Cyber Monday” receives more than 1 million global monthly searches online, which scammers use to populate websites with malicious results.

# Social media cyber-crooks push Cyber Monday giveaways and surveys that may leave users without their credentials and money. Use anti-scam protection for you and your friends with Safego, the free Bitdefender tool that scans and detects malware, spam, scams, phishing and dangerous private data exposure on Twitter and Facebook.

# When you receive e-mails in your inbox allegedly from Cyber Monday websites or retailers with incredible deals, don’t click any of the links or attachments. They may hide malware and phishing attempts or signal spammers that your account is valid, so they will start pumping back thousands of unsolicited messages.

# If you shop online from your mobile device, be careful with third party applications that may be loaded with the mobile version of Zeus malware. ZitMo may intercept all your bank account transactions, grab your credentials and credit card details.

# Keep your browser, your software and your antivirus updated. Bitdefender Total Security 2013 includes Safepay™, a browser that protects credit card information, account numbers and any other sensitive data you may enter while accessing different online locations.