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In China telecom fraud has become an increasingly common crime. Last year there were more than 170,000 telecom fraud cases, causing the loss of over $12.5 billion. The fraudsters usually call their victims and trick them into transferring cash to a criminal gang via an ATM. But recently a new breed of telecom fraud, which combines phishing sites and backdoor Trojans, has emerged.
Last week the police from the Dongcheng sub-branch of Beijing’s Public Security Bureau asked us to help investigate a telecom fraud case. The victim was defrauded of $100,000. After our investigation, the fraudsters’ tactics were laid bare.
First you get a call from a ‘public prosecutor’ saying that you are implicated in a financial crime and you must help with the investigation. Of course, you deny everything, but the ‘public prosecutor’ advises you to check if you are listed in an official database as a suspected criminal. To do this, they tell you to visit the “Supreme Procuratorate’s” website, which is, of course, a phishing site:
In China these days, e-commerce has become an important part of daily life, especially among young people. According to a report from CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center), the number of Chinese e-commerce users reached 242 million at the end of the December 2012. This is nearly half of all Chinese internet users.
Because of this, many Chinese cyber-criminals changed their business from stealing QQ numbers or virtual assets in online games to stealing money during the online trading. In October, People-s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, reported that a group of cybercriminals were arrested in connection with a Trojan targeting the e-commerce users. The Trojan, detected by Kaspersky Lab as trojan-Banker.Win32.Bancyn.a, was named -Floating Cloud-, and was used to steal several millions of dollars from e-commerce users.
The name -Floating Cloud-, -浮云- in Chinese, comes from a very popular saying among Chinese internet users -神马都是浮云-. The direct translation is -God horses are always floating clouds-, which means everything flows away in haste like floating clouds. But here, the floating cloud is not a God horse but a Trojan horse. And the -Floating Cloud- was written in EAZY programming language in which programs can be written totally in Chinese.
To distribute the Trojan, cyber-criminals often masquerade as sellers. When the customer/target asks for information about the merchandise, they send a zip archive with the names like -detail information- which purports to contain a few pictures depicting the merchandise. But among these pictures, there is an executable file with the icon of image files. If the customer wants to take a look at this -picture- file and double clicks it, the Trojan will run.
“Weibo”, a micro blog in Chinese, is really hot and has become fashionable in China lately. The number of users of the largest Weibo site Sina Weibo (www.weibo.com) has already reached 140 million. As usual, where there is popularity, there will be security concerns.
Today I found someone referring to my latest tweet, saying that I had won a big prize and needed to click the link to see the details. The guy’s name only consisted of some random letters, which made me cautious. Apparently this is a phishing URL.
I checked this randomly named user and found that he was newly registered but had already sent phishing URLs to lots of users.