NOVEMBER 29, 2013
Your regular source of security updates from TrendLabsSM
In This Issue

Security Spotlight
Storm of Scams: Cybercriminals Take Advantage of Typhoon Haiyan

Security for Home Users
The Season for Danger: Holiday Threats

Security for Business
Data Theft Security Risks

Security for Home Users

The Season for Danger: Holiday Threats

Always be on your guard, especially when shopping online. It’s the only way to stay safe from threats and avoid being taken advantage of.”

The holidays translate to a lot of shopping, and with online shopping come online threats. Check out what sort of threats you have to watch out for this time of the year, and see what you can do to steer clear of them.


We’ve been keeping track of the number of phishing sites created since 2008. In keeping with the current season, we checked how many of these sites were Christmas-themed or targeted Christmas shoppers. We found out that not only were there a lot of them, but that they persist all year round, not just during the holidays.

Unsurprisingly, the creation rate peaks at the end of the year, particularly in November and December. Surprisingly, they also peak during big shopping dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We believe cybercriminals are trying to capitalize on dates when users flock to the Web in search of good deals.


Cybercriminals target online shoppers through email, too. We received a spam sample in the first half of this month that offered affordable holiday packages to users in the United Kingdom.

The spam directed readers to open a file attachment to find out about attractive package offerings. And as with all malicious spam, the attachment contained malware. In this case, it contained a ZBOT variant that steals a victim’s online banking credentials, that can result in financial loss.

Survey Scams

Online shoppers looking to score the latest gaming consoles like the recently released Microsoft Xbox One™ and the Sony Playstation 4™ this Christmas may stumble upon survey scams. We spotted quite a handful of scams that offered free systems if you just click an ad or fill out a survey form.

While not as harmful as the other threats targeting online shoppers this season, survey scams can still lead to malware infections, which are harmful.

What to Do

While cybercriminal activity does peak during the holidays, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wary all year round. Always be on your guard, especially when shopping online. It’s the only way to stay safe against and avoid being taken advantage of.

To fully secure yourself and your family, read our latest e-guide on safe online shopping, “How to Safely Shop Online.”

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