Forget the Nigerian spam scam; now it's a take-off on Three Kings
'This one is much easier to fall for,' says a Symantec researcher
Computerworld - A twist on the classic Nigerian e-mail scam that steals from the plot of the George Clooney movie Three Kings is hitting in-boxes, Symantec Corp. said Monday.
In these e-mails, a U.S. soldier based in Iraq claims that he has found a horde of cash or gold, a plot point central to the 1999 film. The e-mail explains that the total "haul," which is often pegged at $750 million but can vary wildly from spam run to spam run, has been split among the men who found it. The soldier's take: $20 million. Unfortunately, after he was cashiered from the army and returned to Iraq to work as -- tugging at the heartstrings -- a humanitarian worker, he was injured by a roadside bomb and now is on his deathbed.
"The doctors have told me point blank that I would die at any moment," the soldier writes in the spam message.
All the recipient has to do to collect the millions -- or sometimes only half, with the other going to a charity -- is give up an e-mail address and phone number.
"You are now being e-mailed by a soldier, an American soldier who wants to share his new-found wealth," said Kelly Conley, a researcher at Symantec, on the security group's blog. "He is an American, so it's not like you're sending your money to the great unknown of a stranger or foreigner, right? This one is much easier to fall for."
In traditional Nigerian schemes -- dubbed that because they typically originate from the West African country -- scammers claim that they need help in moving money to the U.S. The messages promise recipients a share in return for an upfront fee, and therein lies the scam.
"All of a sudden the game changes," said Conley. "It's no longer written in poor English, where you deal with a stranger for the purpose of purely obtaining cash for personal gain. Instead it's [an] injured American soldier who wants to share his fortune with you and charity."
Read more about Security in Computerworld's Security Topic Center.
- Best Practices for Securing Hadoop Historically, Apache Hadoop has provided limited security capabilities. To protect sensitive data being stored and analyzed in Hadoop, security architects should use a...
- Top Tips for Securing Big Data Environments: Why Big Data Doesn't Have to Mean Big Security Challenges Organizations must come to terms with the security challenges they introduce. As big data environments ingest more data, organizations will face significant risks...
- 5 Ways Dropbox for Business Keeps Your Data Protected Protecting your data isn't a feature on a checklist, something to be tacked on as an afterthought. Download here to find out how...
- The Keys to Securing Data in a Collaborative Workplace Losing data is costly. IT professionals have spent years learning how to protect their organizations from hackers, but how do you ward off...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Responding to New SSL Cybersecurity Threat The featured Gartner research examines current strategies to address new SSL cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. All Security White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!