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2013 Press Release

Trend Micro: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One giveaways too good to be true? Probably is.

Cybercriminals continue to leverage popular product launches to hook unsuspecting consumers

Taipei – 21 November 2013 – A global leader in security software, Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO:4704; TSE:4704), warns of scams leveraging on the latest and upcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launches. Cybercriminals have been known to prey on consumers with current topics, often luring them with offers of attractive prizes with popular examples including iPhone 5S, Google Glass and iPad 3 threats.

Researchers from TrendLabs found several survey scams taking advantage of the buzz surrounding the two consoles. With high demand and interest in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, cybercriminals created giveaways to trick consumers, with the hoaxes populated across social media platforms, like Facebook.


Figure 1. Facebook page advertising the giveaway

Figure 2. Survey scam site

Scamming with PlayStation 4
To increase the scam’s reach, website and pages are hosted off social networking sites like Facebook, to encourage unsuspecting victims to ‘like’, ‘follow’ and even ‘share’ (Reference to Figure 1). Most often, users are required to enter their personal information, such as their names, email addresses, and even their mobile numbers. Providing these details could lead these users to other threats like spam or unwanted phone charges.


Figure 3. Xbox promo page

Using Xbox One as bait
Even before the launch of Xbox One, cybercriminals have already begun scheming consumers off their data, and most likely, their monies.

While the site is currently inaccessible, these cybercriminals could be waiting for the official launch before making it available for access. Facebook has also been notified of the scams found.

Scams not just on Facebook
Researchers at Trend Micro have also spotted a site advertising Xbox One giveaways. Similar to the PlayStation 4 scam, users are also encouraged to promote the giveaway through social media. Upon clicking ‘proceed’, they are led to another site containing a text file that they need for the raffle. Similar to other scams, this simply leads to a survey site as well.

Awareness and vigilance aside, security solutions such as the Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security 2014, is uniquely designed to protect consumers, with capabilities of highlighting malicious links before one clicks on them in social networking sites and more.


Figure 4. Xbox One giveaway scam site

Trend Micro recommends the following five steps on how consumers can better protect themselves against such scams:

  1. When something looks too good to be true, it most likely is – It is most unlikely for new movies to be released for free online, and hence advertisements you see are most likely malicious in intent.
  2. Keep updated on the latest entertainment news from legitimate sources – Stick to legitimate news portals or the official website for the latest and most accurate updates.
  3. Bookmark reliable sites to avoid falling for cybercriminals’ traps – This will help ensure that you visit known safe sites, every time.
  4. Be wary of clicking on shortened links from unknown accounts – Who knows where these may lead you, and what they may ask for?
  5. Be conscious about what you click and share on social networks – high-profile news are highly shareable, making them good hosts for malicious content.

 

For more information and updates on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 scam, please visit the TrendLabs blog post http://blog.trendmicro.com/trendlabs-security-intelligence/playstation-4-and-xbox-one-survey-scams-spotted/

More information on social engineering can also be found here.

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in security software, strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our solutions for consumers, businesses and governments provide layered data security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud. Trend Micro enables the smart protection of information, with innovative security technology that is simple to deploy and manage, and fits an evolving ecosystem. All of our solutions are powered by cloud-based global threat intelligence, the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ infrastructure, and are supported by over 1,200 threat experts around the globe. For more information, visit TrendMicro.com.


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