You usually see this around tax season, but it seems the cyber-crooks have figured out that fear of the IRS is an evergreen topic.
US-CERT is aware of public reports of malicious code circulating via spam email messages related to the IRS. The attacks arrive via an unsolicited email message and may contain a subject line of “Notice of Underreported Income.” These messages may contain a link or attachment. If users click on this link or open the attachment, they may be infected with malicious code, including the Zeus Trojan.
The Zeus Trojan is a keylogger that steals sensitive data, especially targeting online banking credentials. According to “New IRS Scam E-mail Could Be Costly”, in Brian Krebs’ Security Fix column, Landfill Service Corp. (LSC), a solid waste company based in Apalachin, NY is a recent victim of the Trojan. The firm may end up losing at least $92,000 from the incident. Not good.
The Zeus keystroke logging Trojan’s engine is a file called “sdra64.exe.” At least that’s what LSC’s tech guy found (Variations are sure to surface).
Rather than repeat it in my own words, here’s the US-CERT list of recommendations:
- Review the How to Report and Identify Phishing, E-mail Scams and Bogus IRS Web Sites document on the IRS website.
- Do not follow unsolicited web links or attachments in email messages.
- Maintain up-to-date antivirus software.
- Refer to the Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams (pdf) document for more information on avoiding email scams.
- Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks document for more information on social engineering attacks.