Scammers Using Mock Copyright Lawsuit Threats To Get People To Download Malware

from the copying-the-best-in-the-business dept

With companies like Digiprotect, Davenport Lyons and ACS:Law busy sending out tens of thousands of so-called pre-settlement letters that threaten people (often on very little evidence, if any) of copyright infringement, but allow them to pay up to avoid a lawsuit, is it any surprise that out-and-out scammers are jumping into the game as well? Ben alerts us to a warning from US-CERT of a new email scam, which involves the scammers sending out legitimate looking emails pretending to be from a law firm, telling the recipients they're being sued for copyright infringement. The details are supposedly in a file at a URL provided in the email. When a visitor goes to that URL and downloads the file, they get malware instead. Yes, it appears that the malware scammers are now learning from the best in the business...


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 4:16am

    oh how different, its hard to view them as separate................

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 4:22am

    "the malware scammers are now learning from the best in the business"

    Ooh, scathing. Hits the nail on the head, too.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 4:38am

    How long before the scammers start downloading copyright material to your computer so that the three strike rules kick in. After two offenses (or an assumed amount of time) they then send you an email saying pay up or next time you lose your Internet connection.

    I might go write that program cause it shouldn't be very hard now should it.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 5:02am

    They don't even need to download or share copywrite material to / from your computer they just need to write some code so your ip address shows up on p2p or torrent software. The lawyers will assume infringement, sue and get rich and have you kicked off the net or in the case of the scammer send out emails demanding to get paid before they get you kicked off. It's the same which ever way you look at it.

     

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  5.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 5:52am

    This could turn even worse.

    Imagine if the scammers instead send you to a link to pay up for the violations?
    "We have found that you have uploaded x thousands of files so your fine is going to $5,000,000 but we will settle this for $500.00 if you pay in the next 24 hours."
    They could use one of the many overseas corrupt credit card processors to take you card number charge you the $500 then sell your number of the underground market.

     

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  6.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 5:57am

    You'd think...

    ...that these people would take the time to at least present a decent mock-up of a legal demand letter.

    No legitimate law firm is going to send out correspondence that both capitalizes and misspells "Pretrail Conference".

    And this sentence sounds like it was written by a 5-year-old:

    "The reason the lawsuit was filed was due to
    a completely inadequate response from your company
    for copyright infrigement that our client Touchstone
    Advisories Inc is a victim of Copyright infrigement"

    No punctuation, random words capitalized, and basically nonsensical. It's almost as if English isn't the author's native language...

    Anyone who falls for this and thinks a real law firm put this out needs to have their head examined.

     

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  7.  
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    WammerJammer (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 5:58am

    Funny

    What's the big deal? If they were stupid enough to worry about an email instead of an actual delivered subpoena to appear in court, then they deserve what they got. How stupid!! Worrying about an email. I get tons of stupid emails saying I won the lottery and some Attorney in the UK is holding my money. In my case I am somewhat known in programming circles and as a result I constantly get emails saying some engineer name Klaus or something like that worked on a project with me and in appreciation of my friendship has left me million of pounds. All of these emails come from the UK and recently started coming from Nigeria. Stupid people to even respond to an email like that.

     

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  8.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 6:48am

    Re: You'd think...

    Without a doubt they non-English speakers. Most of the letters are written in their language and then they use a program to translate I'll bet.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 7:45am

    How long will it be before someone who knows they have never infringed files charges against the settlement lawyers for extortion?

     

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  10.  
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    anymouse (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 7:57am

    And what's the penalty again for a 'false claim of copyright infringement'?

     

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  11.  
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    Rekrul, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 8:53am

    The details are supposedly in a file at a URL provided in the email. When a visitor goes to that URL and downloads the file, they get malware instead.

    How do you get malware from just downloading a file? Unless it's an EXE file and you're stupid enough to believe that a law firm would ask you to download and run a program. Of course, comsidering the complete cluelessness of today computer "users", it wouldn't surprise me if this is exactly what they're doing...

    They don't even need to download or share copywrite material to / from your computer they just need to write some code so your ip address shows up on p2p or torrent software.

    Why go to all that trouble, when you can just a screenshot and plain-text log file to show an IP address you want?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 10:09am

    Re:

    How is a screenshot or plain text file infringing? Well maybe to lawyers!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    What rock have you been hiding under for the last decade? Do you know what Spyware is? Browser exploits? Flash exploits? Javascript exploits?

    EXE installed malware has always been low-class scriptkiddy material,

     

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  14.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re:

    I can verify that!! I am in IT and exe's are way old hat. I can't tell you how many people get infected by drive-by downloads.

     

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  15.  
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    mirradric, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 10:41pm

    Too bad they didn't patent it.

    Wow... now we have malware scammers copying what copyright scammers are doing. Too bad the copyright scammers did not patent their method of scamming or else they'll be able to sue for infringement.

     

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  16.  
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    Rekrul, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re:

    How is a screenshot or plain text file infringing? Well maybe to lawyers!

    The screenshot or plain text file aren't infringing in themselves. That is the kind of "evidence" that is used in copyright infringement cases. You get accused of infringement, dragged into court and the anti-piracy groups show up with screenshots and log files as "proof" that your IP address was the one sharing the files.

    I suppose in some cases, they get an order to copy your drive and look through it for evidence, but at the start of the case, all they have are (easily faked) screenshots and log files.

     

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  17.  
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    Rekrul, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re:



    Read the article again, it specifically says that users get infected with malware when they download a file. If it was a drive-by installation, why make them download a file at all? That just looks more suspicious.

     

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  18.  
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    ijcaonline.org, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 4:07am

    SCAM JOURNAL - ijcaonline.org

    SCAM JOURNAL PUBLSIHING UNREFEREED PAPERS!!!

    International Journal of Computer Applications
    ijcaonline.org

    The best place to publish nonsensical papers!!!

    Papers published by IJCA have no recognition in most Universities!!

    Blacklisted by several universities in Europe, US and Asia!!

    International Journal of Computer Applications
    ijcaonline.org

    a SCAM JOURNAL!!! BEWARE!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Jon, Sep 22nd, 2010 @ 3:41pm

    Good alerts...

    These retards are preying upon people who are still quite new to the internet. If you are being sued for something serious, YOU WILL GET IT IN THE MAIL!!! Uh, how did they get your email anyway? Please... mark it spam and if you have gmail, mark it phishing and move on.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 7:54pm

    Lawsuit Scam

    Has anyone been the victim this scam? Someone from an "Unknown" number calls you and tells you that you are being sued for non payment of a loan? Somehow these people got my email address, SSN#, address, work number and other info. I called the FBI, yes the FBI, who then gave me the number to the FTC,( Federal Trades Commission.) I filed with them and they have put my SSN# and ALL my information on a security watch. Creditors have been notified, among other people. I hope this info is helpful to you. Be safe and live well.

     

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  21.  
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    J miner, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 5:38am

    I got an email saying the exact same things. It refers to real charter communications websites.. But it also links to a fake phishing website that instructs you to pay a fine/and or download something. I don't know what the website is because I didn't go to it. Please beware!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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