Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 and the Halo video game series represented great opportunities that allowed crooks to spread their pieces of malware onto the computers of those who were looking for pirated editions or invites to test beta versions.
Phishing emails were also widely present in inboxes in the month that passed, the reputations of organizations such as the Better Business Bureau, Southwest Airlines, and even the US-CERT being used in the phony messages.
By relying on hot topics, malware writers and scammers launched a large number of successful campaigns to which they’ve attached dangerous pieces of malware.
An interesting typosquatting scam relied on the fact that users may still try to access the now defunct Megaupload site to see the FBI warning being displayed. Users who misspelled the site’s name ended up on domains that offered fake prizes in exchange for valuable personal information.
GFI found that most of the threats having targeted users in January were Trojans (35%), followed by the Yontoo Adware (2.23%) and a rogue security program identified as FraudTool.Win32.FakeRean. The omnipresent Autorun.inf Trojan also made the list, being identified in around 1.2% of attacks.
“Anyone who goes on the internet is a potential target for cybercriminals looking to infect systems and scam users. Malware writers and phishers do not discriminate,” Chris Boyd, senior threat researcher at GFI Software, said.
“They purposefully cast a wide net when picking their methods of attack in order to reach as many targets as possible. Whether you are a young gamer, a successful business owner or a government employee, you need to be wary when clicking on links that appear to pertain to your interests, especially when asked to submit personal information online.”