Some would argue that sex is one of the oldest social engineering ploys to deceive someone into doing something they normally wouldn’t do. As far as I know, it’s been being used since biblical times.
Roderick OrdoÃ±ez at the Trend Labs Malware Blog (Trend Micro) is reporting that malware is being downloaded on systems using a mysterious woman named Melissa, who strips off her clothing (in increments) when a user puts in the right CAPTCHA code.
CAPTCHA codes are those annoying letters and numbers, we have to enter in a box to prove we are human.
From the Trend Labs Malware post:
A nifty little program that Trend Micro detects as TROJ_CAPTCHAR.A disguises itself as a strip-tease game, wherein a scantily clad â€œMelissaâ€ agrees to take off a little bit of her clothing. However, for her to strut her stuff, users must identify the letters hidden within a CAPTCHA. Input the letters correctly, press â€œgo,â€ and â€œMelissaâ€ reveals more of herself.
It appears that no one is completely sure what the malicious intent is with Melissa, but Roderick speculates that:
The CAPTCHAs in the example above were taken from the Yahoo! Web site, possible proof that someone may be building a huge base of Yahoo! accounts. For spam-related reasons perhaps? Although various methods of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) are already used to circumvent the CAPTCHA, this social engineering technique is new in that it uses people to unsuspectingly aid a malicious user.
The dangers of downloading all kinds of what I refer to as cybernasties are well documented on porn sites. A lot of these sites are owned by organized criminals, and unsuspecting users have had their identities stolen by going on them.
Here is a post, I did where British citizens were charged with a crime after having their identities stolen in this manner:
The investigation that started this originated in the United States.
Recently, I did a post on hackers almost shutting down the State of California’s systems, by misdirecting them to porn sites. In the post, I wrote:
As I’ve written before — exercise extreme caution when clicking on porn sites, they often make your computer come down with a virus (or worse)– especially if “safe surfing practices” aren’t being used.
Interesting post from the Trend Labs Malware Blog with some rather revealing graphics, here.