Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cyber-gangsters launch a wave of phishing attacks on WOW users

Avira protects gamers, surfers and online bankers from information theft

Tettnang, 03 June 2009 – According to IT security specialist Avira, a series of phishing attacks has been launched aimed at fans of the World of Warcraft game. The emails all follow the same format, the “From” field in the email looks as if the message originates directly from Blizzard. The content of the email itself makes statements aimed at confusing players, claiming their accounts are being monitored and that they are under suspicion of illegal activities. The message also claims that the user has violated Blizzard’s terms of use.

The email prompts the user to respond to the claims and to verify himself as the owner of the account by completing an online form. However, this form is not provided by Blizzard and is located on a fictitious website operated by the cyber-criminals.

According to the experts at Avira, the message is not an obvious hoax because the content is well produced and begins with Blizzard’s usual opening salutation “Greetings”. The wording is also unusual for phishing messages because in this case there are no grammatical or spelling errors.

Avira advises all users to follow a manual procedure when entering links to websites for email access, banking and other applications that require personal data for login purposes. Caution is advised when dealing with email, even if the sender is apparently familiar to the user. Malware is now so sophisticated that it is not limited to email in its attempts to infiltrate computers. It takes over the browser’s favorites and overwrites them with its own web addresses.

Avira offers an integrated anti-phishing function in its Avira AntiVir Premium and Premium Suite virus protection packages. This feature detects false emails and filters them out automatically. This means that the user is protected before he even click on the illegal link.

About Avira

Avira protects people in the connected world – enabling everyone to manage, secure, and improve their digital lives. The Avira umbrella covers a portfolio of security and performance applications for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. In addition, the reach of our protective technologies extends through OEM partnerships. Our security solutions consistently achieve best-in-class results in independent tests for detection, performance, and usability. Avira is a privately-owned company that employs 500 people. Its headquarters are near Lake Constance, in Tettnang, Germany, and the company has additional offices in Romania, India, Singapore, China, Japan & the United States. A portion of Avira's sales support the Auerbach Foundation, which assists education, children, and families in need. For more information about Avira visit www.avira.com.