Dubai, United Arab Emirates : Since the first official announcement in early December last year, the world had eagerly awaited for the birth of the firstborn child of Prince William and Kate Middleton. After months of anticipation, the Duchess of Cambridge has recently given birth to a son, the new Prince of Cambridge.
But amid the celebrations, an old threat resurfaced. We spotted spammed messages related to the royal baby birth. The speed of these messages is remarkable, considering the official announcement was given July 22nd at 4:24pm (BST).
These messages appear to be from ScribbleLive, a service that provides real-time engagement platforms. The offer, of course, is false, and clicking on links in the email will only trigger multiple redirections that are typical among Blackhole exploit kit (BHEK) spam runs. BHEK is a page that cybercriminals use to determine what software versions are used by a victim so that the page can deliver the “correct” exploit.
In this case, the script that triggers the redirections is detected as JS_OBFUSC.BEB. Based on initial reports, US, Japan, and Australia were the top countries that accessed the final URL in the infection chain. As more users from the UK go online during their morning, looking for news about the royal baby, we can expect to see more infection hits from this area.
Exploit kits such as the Blackhole Exploit Kit offers cybercriminals great convenience in terms of deploying spam runs. It becomes much easier for them to modify the different aspects of a spam run: its social engineering lure, the exploits it uses, and its payloads.
These social engineering lures often come in the form of recent events, such as the Boston Marathon incident and the election of Pope Francis.
This particular BHEK run is not limited to the royal baby alone. Other spammed messages took advantage of the controversy surrounding the upcoming sci-fi film Ender's Game. While these messages are made to look like an article from CNN, clicking on links will trigger the same redirections as that of the royal baby spam.
Furthermore, Trend Micro have found another spam run using this theme that pretends to be a CNN news story discussing what the US president would give as a gift to mark the birth.
The exploit kit code is detected as JS_OBFUSC.BEB, with the Java exploit detected as JAVA_EXPLOYT.RO. This particular exploit targets two vulnerabilities in Java: CVE-2013-1493 and CVE-2013-2423. Both of these vulnerabilities have been patched by Oracle. The ultimate payload is a Trojan detected as TROJ_MEDFOS.JET.
- Figure 1. Sample spam email about the royal baby
- Figure 2. “Royal Baby” related threats started appearing half a day after the official announcement
- Figure 3. More than half of the hits came from the US
- Figure 4. Sample spam email about Ender's Game
- Figure 5. Fake CNN news report
About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), the global cloud security leader, creates a world safe for exchanging digital information with its Internet content security and threat management solutions for businesses and consumers. A pioneer in server security with over 20 years' experience, we deliver top-ranked client, server and cloud-based security that fits our
customers' and partners' needs, stops new threats faster, and protects data in physical, virtualized and cloud environments. Powered by the industry-leading Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ global threat intelligence data mining framework, our products and services stop threats where they emerge – from the Internet. They are supported by 1,000+ threat intelligence experts around the globe.
Additional information about Trend Micro Incorporated and its products and services are available at Trend Micro.com. This Trend Micro news release and other announcements are available at http://NewsRoom.TrendMicro.com and as part of an RSS feed at www.trendmicro.com/rss. Or follow our news on Twitter at @TrendMicro