Revulytics Blog

Latest Spam uses Yahoo! Profiles and Cheap Software prices to Capture Credit Card Data

June 30, 2009


For the last month (at least from my inbox perspective) spammers have been using the Yahoo! personal profile interface to send spam with cheap software offers (see image 1).

Image 1: Email with Yahoo profile reference (click to enlarge)

The ploy attempts redirect users to an authentic looking web site offer software at prices too good to be true (image 2). The IP address of the site can tracked to an IP address assigned in China and hosted on a server that includes over 400 other gambling and software commerce sites.

Image 2: Homepage of Web site offering to sell pirated software (click to enlarge)

Further navigation of the site reveals a checkout form with all the right images to lure the unsuspecting user to enter their credit card information and buy low priced software. However, it should be obvious to most users who purchase anything on the Web that this site is a scheme to grab credit card data. Although a secure connection symbol is shown, the form itself asks for credit card information over a non-SSL session. Also, the BBBOnline program (which no longer is operational) VISA, and TRUSTe seals do not provide a link for verification (image 3).

Image 3: Checkout form on false commerce site (click to enlarge)

I would hope that it is completely obvious to users with some internet experience that they should not trust this site or the method used to arrive at the site. However, given that it is relatively cheap to host hundreds of these sites using virtual servers and leverage Yahoo! to promote them, it probably only takes one uninformed user to justify this criminal approach.

- Vic

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Michael Goff

Post written by Michael Goff

Marketing Director at Revulytics
Michael is Marketing Director at Revulytics where he is responsible for corporate marketing, content, and social media. He has helped to educate the industry on the benefits of software usage analytics for compliance and product management through the company's blog and contributed articles in trade publications. Michael was previously a marketing programs manager at The MathWorks and principal at Goff Communications. Michael earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from Colgate University.