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.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Neustar 2014 DDoS Attacks and Impact Report For the third consecutive year, Neustar surveyed hundreds of companies on distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. The survey reveals evidence that the...
- Acxiom Case Study This case study, which focuses on Acxiom, explores how the company was able to secure employee data, reduce migration costs and boost productivity...
- Windows® XP Migration: Protect and Secure Critical Data With the end of the Microsoft Windows XP operating system's lifecycle on April 8, 2014, businesses are faced with the decision to migrate...
- Enhancing Application Protection and Recovery with a Modern Approach to Snapshot Management This CommVault Business Value and Technology White Paper explains how Simpana IntelliSnap® Recovery Manager can make your application recovery fast and reliable.
- Live Webcast LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Security White Papers | Webcasts