'Work from home' offers targeted the increasing number of unemployed people in 2009, as well as those in need of additional income. Mortgage-related scams also increased as interest rates dropped. These scams enticed existing homeowners with fake refinancing options to help them lower their payments or credit card offers with higher limits or lower interest rates. Some of these scams targeted new and first-time homebuyers.
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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