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David Harley sent me a link to an article about a scam I wasn’t familiar with. I wouldn’t really call it a scam, it is more a diversionary and blocking tactic after a victim’s account has been compromised, but it may be an indicator of an attack. According to Wired (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/05/telephony-dos), what happens is that while the thieves are transferring money out of your account, they flood your telephone with calls so that your bank or brokerage firm cannot reach you to confirm the transaction. Additionally they call the financial institution and pretend to be the victim as they complain about the transfer not going through.
Based on the reports, this attack may be growing, but is still not prevalent. I halfway thought it might be a hoax when I read that one of the victims had received call that was a “30 second recording for a sex hotline”. I mean, really, did he time it? He listened to the whole recording? Oh well, it appears to be a legit warning.
I didn’t find this scam on the FBI’s web site, however they list several other scams and tips to avoid falling victim to them. Check out http://www.fbi.gov/majcases/fraud/fraudschemes.htm.
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET