Scam Alert # 6 – Super Cute Scam & ‘Be Mined’
It’s all about love and betrayal — and who’s using your computer when you’re not looking.
“Super Cute” Scam
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, wouldn’t it be nice to get an email saying you’re “super cute”?
Well, it’s a scam.
You may indeed be super cute. But these emails supposedly from Russian women in the U.S. are spam, according to IBM’s X-Force research group.
Some of the 30 million scam emails a day tell people they spotted your pictures on Facebook and they want to get to know you better.
But it’s a trick to put malware on your computer or to get you to send photos they can later use to blackmail you.
Opening line of a spam e-mail. Image credit: IBM X-Force
Your login or mine?
This one is not a scam, it’s a joke.
A dating site called “Words of Heart” that matches you up with people according to the password you use.
We tested it by putting in a password, a really bad one: 12345.
The site matched us with several suitors including President Skroob, john, john2, bigd and lolnope, all using the same password.
The creator of “Words of Heart” told news site Motherboard it’s all a joke.
What’s not a joke — entering your real passwords into the site, giving your potential match a way to get into your accounts and steal your money as well as your heart.
The site added a disclaimer, “DO NOT USE your real password here, especially a password for something important (banks, e-mail, Facebook)!”
Some of the matches for password “12345” on “Words of Heart,” a dating site that matches people based on their passwords. Image credit: Words of Heart
There’s a chance someone’s using your computer for mining crypto coins.
Attackers hacked more than four thousand sites, including the U.S. courts, the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, Frederick County, Maryland, Indiana’s Medicaid site, the City University of New York and many more.
If you visited the sites on Sunday, the attackers may have used your computer to mine digital coins without your knowledge or permission.
The Register provided a link to the list of sites affected.
Cryptomining can slow your device down, use your electricity, and even in extreme cases, cause physical damage.
It’s happening on phones, too.
Cybersecurity company Malwarebytes reports a criminal group has found a way to divert your phone to a site that mines it for digital coins.
You get a message saying, “Your device is showing suspicious surfing behaviour. Please prove that you are human by solving the captcha.”
Until you solve the captcha, they’re using your phone for their criminal gain.
Screen message in cryptomining campaign. Image credit: Malwarebytes
The crooks are even doing it on industrial computers, including the control system at a water utility in Europe.
Scientists in Russia were just arrested for mining on their own computers at a top-secret nuclear warhead facility, using the computers to do complex math problems that earn them crypto currency like Bitcoin.
And some day, you may even volunteer to mine Bitcoin.
Salon magazine says you can choose to let them mine coin while you use their site.
They say you can think of it like them borrowing your calculator for a few minutes.
With so many people using ad blockers, Salon says its revenue is dropping and asks you to buy their app, stop using the ad blocker, or let them mine on your computer.
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