Given the 2009 global economic downturn, it should not be surprising that financial scams remain very successful, and that they come in a variety of flavors. In 2009, the 'Get rich quick using Internet sales' theme was the specific angle most often used. These scams often piggybacked on the marketing messages of real companies like Google, which offer genuine programs to make it easier for people to move their business online. Scam e-mails and Web sites applied similar messaging to their campaigns, which made them appear legitimate.
The most successful attacks of 2009, as in previous years, required a successful social engineering component at one stage of the attack or another. For instance, fake antivirus scams exploit common security fears, while fake code malware teases individuals to the point where they lack the patience to really think about what they are being asked to do.
In addition, death, disaster and drama have become hugely effective vehicles for spreading malware. These tactics are explored in more detail below.
As part of a comprehensive review of 2009, Blue Coat Systems has compiled this list of the most common (and successful) bait and scams the bad guys are using to install malware on unsuspecting users' systems and steal personal information.
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