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News

Parking fine malware plagues UK

BitDefender UK : 24 June, 2014  (Technical Article)
Bitdefender is warning UK computer users of malware designed to steal confidential information through bogus parking fine reminder notices
Parking fine malware plagues UK

A wave of parking fine spam continues to infect computers in the UK with Zeus, or the Zbot Trojan, seeking to steal confidential information. So far, Bitdefender has blocked the Trojan from infecting hundreds of computers.

'Reminder notice' e-mails purporting to be from the UK's Ministry of Justice started to invade UK inboxes a couple of months ago. The wave registered a spike on May 15 when, in a two-hour period, one out of five samples was a bogus parking fine.

The fake notices warn Brits they will be charged extra if they do not pay a £70 or £78 fee. They also threaten that the ability to obtain credit in the future could be affected. The e-mails claim to hold “photographic evidence on file to support this claim”.

Fake emails read, “Your vehicle was recorded parked on our Clients Private Property driveways on the 15.05.2014 and remained on site for 2 hour 23 min. A notice was sent to you on 10.04.2014 which gave 28 days to pay full PARKING CHARGE or challenge the issue.”

The downloader poses as a pdf attachment and has been detected by Bitdefender as Trojan.GenericKD.1681628. When opened, Form-STD-Vehicle-150514.scr connects to a pharmaceutical website controlled by the attackers. Such web pages are either legitimate businesses compromised by hackers or web sites especially created to distribute malware. The file then downloads and executes a Zbot or Zeus variant, Trojan.GenericKD.1681983.

“This malware is designed to harvest personal information from infected computers and send it to criminals,” states Catalin Cosoi, Chief Security Strategist at Bitdefender. “Zeus targets details such as passwords, usernames, system information and banking credentials. It may also download further malware and allow cyber-criminals to control the infected computer remotely.”

Bitdefender advises users to keep their software and antivirus solution updated. UK citizens should also be cautious when opening attachments or clicking dubious links and may report such e-mails to Action Fraud.

In March this year, the Ministry of Justice warned that parking fine messages are scams “likely to contain a virus” and they were “aware that a large number of people have received a scam 'REMINDER NOTICE DO NOT IGNORE' email”.

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