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Warning: Phishing scam exploiting ABSA new logo

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Many of you use ABSA as your bank of choice, as well as making use of ABSA Bank’s Internet Banking facilities, so this warning might be of particular significance.

Earlier this month ABSA announced a new logo – part of its rebranding campaign – and almost immediately phishing scammers exploited this opportunity to continue their nefarious campaign of identity theft through phishing email attacks.

Several users have reported getting the following email – allegedly from ABSA – taking advantage of the new logo to target the bank’s customers in a phishing email scam by attempting to trick users to click on a link to take them to a fake website.

The scam email states that it comes from Absa CEO Maria Ramos, but it’s actually from an outside source and informs victims that “today marks a very significant day in the Absa journey”. The email uses Absa’s slogan, saying “We are also launching a new, fresh and vibrant Absa logo and identity that reflects our commitment to you, our customers”. Potential victims are then encouraged to click on their “New Absa eStatements” in PDF format. This is not a statement, but an HTML file which takes users to a phishing website.

Here is one example of the phishing e-mail which has already appeared in several University email accounts, as well as personal home email accounts:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, you should never respond to a suspicious looking email or message or click on a link in any suspicious looking email. Rather delete the email. No South African bank will ever contact customers and request sensitive information (card PIN, card CVV or online banking password) via email, telephone or SMS.

If you have received a phishing email, immediately report it to the Information Technology CyberSecurity Team using the following method:
 
1. Start up a new mail addressed to sysadm@sun.ac.za (CC: help@sun.ac.za)
2. Use the Title “SPAM” (without quotes) in the Subject.
3. With this New Mail window open, drag the suspicious spam/phishing mail from your Inbox into the New Mail Window. It will attach the mail as an enclosure and a small icon with a light yellow envelope will appear in the attachments section of the New Mail.
4. Send the mail.

IF YOU HAVE FALLEN FOR THE SCAM:
If you did click on the link of a phishing spam and unwittingly gave the scammers your username, email address and password  immediately go to http://www.sun.ac.za/useradm and change the passwords on ALL your university accounts (making sure the new password is completely different and is a strong password that will not be easily guessed.), as well as changing the passwords on your social media and private email accounts (especially if you use the same passwords on these accounts.)
 
Useful information on how to report and combat phishing and spam can also be found on our blog

[ARTICLE BY DAVID WILES]

PHISHING: Absa Surecheck Profile App

Monday, October 16th, 2017

Over the weekend and as already reported by a number of Tygerberg colleagues & students, a variant of last week’s ABSA phishing scam has started flooding our email.

The tactics have changed slightly and the criminals are now using a South African domain name to launch their attack. Below is the example of the phishing email, with the forged “ABSA Bank” login page to attempt to convince you to give your bank details willingly to the scammers.

The subject of the email is “Absa Surecheck Profile App – Upgrade | FICA information” which is designed to say absolutely nothing. It is what is known in information technology circles as “techno-babble”

While the methods used to steal a your banking details may differ, the process followed by fraudsters to steal money from their victims in South Africa are nearly always the same:

  1. Get the person’s Internet banking details, typically through a phishing attack. (as shown below)
  2. Get a banking account/s to which money can be transferred to and withdrawn.
  3. Clone the SIM card used by the victim.
  4. Create beneficiaries (using the list of banking accounts) and transfer money to these beneficiaries.
  5. Withdraw the money from these accounts.

Here are the obvious warning signs:

  1. The sender is not an ABSA email account (in this case a “throwaway” German email account used to send millions of phishing e-mails)
  2. Vague and deceptive subject lines (Techno-babble)
  3. An attached file (.htm) that contains a web page that opens up in your browser and links in the background to the server in South Africa.
  4. Impersonal salutation. “Dear Valued Customer”. Banks will never address you like this. They have your money – so it stands to reason that they will know your name as well.
  5. “Online verification” has **** to convince you that the email is genuine, but university addresses end with ac.za, not co.za.

 

The web page that you are directed to is actually the .htm file based on your computer (as an attachment, but links directly to the phishing server in the background.)

In this case is iteron.co.za which is listed as “undergoing maintenance” but is fully functional in the background.

 

 

If you have received an email that looks like this please immediately report it to the Information Technology Security Team using the following method:

Send the spam/phishing email to the following addresses

help@sun.ac.za

…and sysadm@sun.ac.za as well.

 Attach the phishing or suspicious email on to the message if possible. There is a good tutorial on how to do this at the following link (Which is safe): http://stbsp01.stb.sun.ac.za/innov/it/it-help/Wiki%20Pages/Spam%20sysadmin%20Eng.aspx

  1. Start up a new email addressed to sysadm@sun.ac.za (CC: help@sun.ac.za)
  2. Use the Title “SPAM” (without quotes) in the Subject.
  3. With this New Mail window open, drag the suspicious spam/phishing email from your Inbox into the New Mail Window. It will attach the email as an enclosure and a small icon with a light yellow envelope will appear in the attachments section of the New Mail.
  4. Send the email.

If you did click on the link of this phishing spam and unwittingly give the scammers your username, e-mail address and password you should immediately go to http://www.sun.ac.za/useradm and change the passwords on ALL your university accounts (making sure the new password is completely different, and is a strong password that will not be easily guessed.) as well as changing the passwords on your social media and private e-mail accounts (especially if you use the same passwords on these accounts.)

[ARTICLE BY DAVID WILES]

 

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