Top 10 Summer Movies Used As Phishing Bait In 201310:00 AM EST Thu. Jul. 11, 2013
Attackers use Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to lure people to fake streaming sites, promising them the ability to see the latest summer movie hits. The web pages typically lead users to download video players or sign up for streaming sites through affiliate links, according to Trend Micro, which recently analyzed shortened URLs leading to the phony movie streaming sites. The security vendor said victims could also face a variety of problems from survey scams phishing for personal information or malware attacks embedded in the phony sites. Here are the top 10 summer movies used to bait victims, according to Trend Micro's analysis.
"Epic," a computer-animated comedy film came in as the No. 10 most commonly used summer movie bait for phishers. Not surprisingly, the movie brought in the least amount of page views to fake streaming sites with 10,000 or fewer clicks, according to Trend Micro. The security firm recommends people be wary of sharing posts or clicking links that spread the scams because they are always phony.
The summer comedy, "The Hangover Part III," was the next most commonly used summer movie bait by phishers. The comedy, which returns Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms to Las Vegas, may not be getting the best reviews, but phishers still used the comedy to lure victims to their phony sites.
"The Great Gatsby" was the next most used summer movie bait by phishers. The movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel stars Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie actor is a popular lure used to bait people to phishing sites. The movie brought in fewer than 25,000 page views to the phony streaming sites, according to Trend Micro.
"After Earth," the science fiction movie by M. Night Shyamalan, may not be getting the best reviews, but it is being used by phishers to attract clicks, Trend Micro said. The movie brought in nearly 50,000 page views.
"Star Trek Into Darkness," which debuted in May, came in as the fifth most popular summer movie used as bait by phishers. The Star Trek film franchise has been a popular lure over the years. Trend Micro recommends users find legitimate movie streaming sites to view flicks. Movies that are not yet out on DVD are very likely pirated, the security firm said.
'World War Z' was the next most popular bait used by phishers. The summer zombie movie staring Brad Pitt brought phishers in about 50,000 page views to scam sites, more successful than "Monsters University." Trend Micro said most phony streaming pages use blogging platforms. Tumblr was the most popular platform followed by WordPress.
The Pixar Animation Studios computer-animated comedy "Monsters University" came in next most commonly used bait by phishers even though it had significantly fewer page views than the other summer movies. "Monsters University" brought in about 25,000 clicks, according to Trend Micro.
"Iron Man 3" was the third most popular phishing bait. The movie brought in nearly 50,000 page views to phony streaming sites, according to Trend Micro. "The Iron Man" series has also been a popular lure for phishing in the past as well as other movies featuring Marvel Comics characters.
"Fast & Furious 6" earned phishers the second-highest number of clicks. It brought in about 125,000 page views to the phony streaming pages. Trend Micro said that in addition to tricking users on social networks, phishers use black hat search engine optimization measures to get their phony sites to the top of search engine results.
Attackers used the summer Superman blockbuster "Man of Steel" as the No. 1 way to bait people into clicking on a link, according to the Trend Micro analysis. Enticing users with the movie name brought in more than 150,000 clicks over a two-month period from late April to the end of June. Messages using the movie earned the highest number of page views.