Google adwords fuel new URL attack

Disarmingly simple scam to rip off credit card accounts

Google adwords account holders are being targeted by criminals out to trick them into handing over credit card information using a clever URL spoof that has gained popularity in recent weeks.

On the face of it, the scam follows a traditional attack route involving the sending of spam emails to random Internet addresses in the hope of finding users who have purchased adwords. The email claims that the user's account payment has failed and asks them to "update payment information", again a transparent ploy by today's standards.

As obvious as this might sound, the unwary might easily be tricked by the convincing http://adwords.google.com/select/login link embedded in the email, a perfect copy of the correct Google login address. This one, however, actually leads to http://www.adwords.google.com.XXXX.cn/select/Login [address altered], an obfuscated address that directs to a site associated with IPs in Germany, Romania, and the Czech Republic.

The site is a good copy of the real Google adword site, and appears to let users login using their real account details - any account details will work in fact. Entering payment details results in that information being posted using an SSL link to a remote server after which the account will be ripped off.

The attack has been publicised by security software company Trend Micro, but the disarmingly simple scam is widespread enough to have been received by ordinary users in recent days.

Google adwords exploits are not uncommon, some involving serving exploits directly, others involving the much more basic social engineering techniques used in the latest attack. Indeed, the latest phishing attack bears a strong resemblance to a near-identical campaign launched a few weeks back by Chinese criminals.

As common as 'account update' attacks have become, the spoofed - in other words convincing - URL is still the key to reeling in victims. Criminals seem to have realized that users are paying more attention to such details, and that phishing success bar has been raised by this.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?