Distracted by holiday stress? E-mail hackers are banking on it


Citing fake messages that appear to come from Amazon, cyber-security specialists are warning shoppers to be on guard during the stressful holiday season against disguised e-mails from digital scam artists that put their bank accounts at risk.|

These “phishing” messages can look remarkably legitimate, aping the logos, language, and Web addresses of e-mails from shipping companies or shopping websites. But clicking on the wrong link can give hackers an opening to steal bank-account information or hold computers hostage until they collect a ransom.

Earlier this week, researchers from IBM identified a phishing campaign that appeared to come from an actual Amazon.com corporate e-mail address, with a subject line reading: “Your Amazon.com order has dispatched,” along with a fake tracking number. The messages contained an attachment that downloaded a program called Locky, a type of ransomware that renders someone’s digital files inaccessible until they cough up a payment, typically several hundred dollars’ worth of the cryptocurrency bitcoin, said Caleb Barlow, a vice president with Cambridge’s IBM security division.

Earlier this week, researchers from IBM identified a phishing campaign that

appeared to come from an actual Amazon.com corporate e-mail address, with a subject line reading: “Your Amazon.com order has dispatched,” along with a fake tracking number.

The messages contained an attachment that downloaded a program called Locky, a type of ransomware that renders someone’s digital files inaccessible until they cough up a payment, typically several hundred dollars’ worth of the cryptocurrency bitcoin, said Caleb Barlow, a vice president with Cambridge’s IBM security division. “The quality of these is really high. You’ve got to be paying attention to not fall victim,” he said. E-mail rip-offs are nothing new. But Barlow said their growing sophistication reflects the highly developed underground economies that have sprouted up around cybercrime. “What we’re dealing with here is not a bored teenager,” Barlow said. “We’re talking about organized crime on an epic scale. . . and they’re structured like highly legitimate businesses.” Like any other business, an e-mail scammer often exploits moments of high stress ….. (Read more @ Boston Globe)

(If you enjoyed this History Moment and have an idea of info for another

intriguing history moment in the Machinery industry shoot me an email )