Commtouch Report Names Big Brands Misleadingly Utilized in the Distribution of Malware

Jul 12, 2012, 10:30 ET from Commtouch

SUNNYVALE, Calif., July 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Commtouch® (NASDAQ: CTCH), a leading provider of cloud-based solutions for security companies and service providers, today reported that its security analysts have seen substantial continued blending of big brand names with malware.  In its July 2012 Commtouch Internet Trends Report, researchers named the following top seven brands that were abused in various third-party email attacks:

  • Amazon – Order confirmation emails that didn't describe the order, but only the balance
  • AT&T Wireless –Wireless bill summaries mentioned large account balances
  • Citi – Offered the ability to view your Citi credit card online, showing extremely high balances
  • – Emails thanked the recipient for joining and provided links to confirm 
  • Craigslist – With varying email subjects, messages included plausible sounding Craigslist posts
  • LinkedIn – Emails mixed pending LinkedIn invitations with messages awaiting responses
  • Verizon Wireless – Bill summary emails that copied the AT&T Wireless approach

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Movie Ticket Hoax Hides Malware on Dropbox

A further example of a blended email/Web malware attack includes usage of the well-known Dropbox storage/sharing network. The Spanish emails offer free movie tickets. Clicking on the links leads to several redirects and scripts. One of Dropbox's features allows users to create publicly available folders, which essentially turns Dropbox into a free hosting site. The use of the popular service in this way provides a powerful platform for malware distribution.

"It's clear that attackers continue to increasingly exploit the comfort level that people have gained with big online brands – and they're doing so in craftier and craftier ways," said Haniel Ilouz, vice president of global engineering at Commtouch. "Not only are easily recognized brands utilized, but clever fake collaboration between sites such as Facebook and Digg show the ever-innovative approaches attackers deploy."

The Commtouch report also details spam statistics, zombie hotspots and the top 10 malware. The report is compiled based on a comprehensive analysis of more than 10 billion transactions handled by Commtouch's GlobalView™ Cloud on a daily basis.  To view the entire report, visit:  

About Commtouch

Commtouch® (NASDAQ: CTCH) safeguards the world's leading security companies and service providers with cloud-based Internet security services. Real-time threat intelligence from Commtouch's GlobalView™ Cloud powers its Web filtering, email security and antivirus solutions, protecting thousands of organizations and hundreds of millions of users worldwide. Visit

Recurrent Pattern Detection, RPD, Zero-Hour and GlobalView are trademarks, and Commtouch is a registered trademark of Commtouch. U.S. Patent No. 6,330,590 is owned by Commtouch.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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