Cybercriminals are targeting US Airways customers with malicious spam emails containing a link that, once clicked, initiates a series of redirects, eventually leading users to a domain hosting the Blackhole exploit kit.

The fraudulent email presents itself as a check-in notification from US Airways. After a brief description of check-in procedures, there is a hyperlink that claims to lead to ‘online reservation details,’ but actually ends up taking victims to a page that infects them with the Zeus trojan.

According to Securelist’s Dmitry Tarakanov, the cybercriminals responsible are hopeful that someone receiving this email is flying somewhere sometime soon. However, most of the users targeted were not flying anywhere on the day in question, and, therefore, did not click the link.

This attack campaign is incredibly dynamic. Tarakanov explains that each object – the domains, the links to javascript, the files with exploits, the downloader and the Zeus trojan itself — was frequently changed. The domains were alive for almost 12 hours, while the Zeus samples were replaced more often than that. Tarakanov detected six modifications of the downloader and three modifications of Zeus while observing downloads for a few hours across several days.

Such highly targeted attacks are increasingly commonplace. As non-technical users wise up to the realities of Internet security, attackers and social engineers must find new ways to establish a trust with their victims. Mac users caught a rare glimpse of what targeted attacks look like late last month after a trojan targeting Tibetan non-governmental organizations surfaced.

Categories: Malware

Comments (2)

  1. Anonymous

    We have received 3 of these in the last 3 days, and so have several other families in our small town of 300.

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