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Scammers pretend to be the Australian Cyber Security Centre

In one of the more brazen phishing attempts of 2021, scammers have pretended to be the Australian Cyber Security Centre to con unsuspecting internet users.

user iconReporter
Wed, 01 Sep 2021
Scammers pretend to be the Australian Cyber Security Centre
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The Australian Cyber Security Centre has flagged a new Medium alert in late August, warning internet and phone users of scammers pretending to be the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

According to the real ACSC, scammers have sent emails and called unsuspecting Australians pretending to be employees of the government body. Scammers have then offered to help Australians combat malware or ask their help in stopping cyber crime.

One method that is being used by the scammers is to spoof victims with calls, where they impersonate ACSC employees. At this point the cyber criminals ask the victim to download ‘TeamViewer’ or ‘AnyDesk’, which allow the criminal to remotely access the victim's computer. From here, the ACSC has confirmed that the scammer will request that the victim undertake sensitive tasks like logging into their bank account.

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Alternatively, scammers have been using fake emails to encourage users to download antivirus software or tell them that passwords have been ‘compromised’. The links contained on the email install malware onto the user’s computer.

According to the ACSC, the scammers have even gone as far as to request the sale of cryptocurrencies and gift cards, while threatening police involvement if people do not follow their orders.

The scams come as Australians continue to be plagued by malicious text messages and calls, which have prompted warnings from leading telecom providers and Australian cyber security agencies.

According to numerous professionals, the links in the recent criminal text messaging campaign are likely to download the FluBot malware.

“The FluBot strain of Android banking malware, which was initially observed in Spain in late 2020 before spreading more widely across Europe over the following months, is now targeting Australian banks,” Graham Edgecombe at the cyber crime research agency Netcraft wrote.

“Once installed, FluBot periodically sends a list of apps installed on the device to one of its command-and-control servers. The server responds with a list of apps the malware should overlay. Upon one of these apps being launched, FluBot immediately displays an overlay on top of the legitimate app."

"The overlays impersonate the legitimate apps and are designed to collect the victim’s online banking credentials, which are sent to the criminals operating FluBot via the command-and-control server.”

If you have spoken to the scammers, you can pass relevant information through to the ACSC website.

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