Security Bytes

May 23 2008   1:41PM GMT

Spear phishing attack spoofs U.S. Tax Court

Marcia Savage Marcia Savage Profile: Marcia Savage

Bogus emails pretending to be from the United States Tax Court and targeting specific organizations were making the rounds this week, security researchers said.

The messages look like notices of deficiency from the tax court with legitimate-looking domains in the “from” address, according to McAfee, which said some of its executives were among the recipients. In the body of the email, the executive’s name is listed as the respondent in a case versus the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and includes a link that claims to offer legal documents. Clicking on the link may install keyloggers and other malware on a machine, a McAfee researcher wrote in a blog posting.

In a notice posted on its website, the U.S. Tax Court said it has received many calls about the phony emails and that it isn’t sending emails to anyone who has a case before the court.

Trend Micro researchers noted that the scam is similar to one launched last April, in which emails sent to CEOs pretended to be a subpoena request and tried to trick recipients into clicking on a link to access related court documents.

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