IRS Scam Spam Campaign

In a variation on a classic social engineering spam scampaign (scam campaign), Spammers/Hackers (we call them “spackers” around here) are circulating two scams with emails purporting to be from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In one scam, the email claims to be from the IRS Business Complaint Arbitration Service. The message claims that someone has filed a complaint against the target’s business and that the IRS can help arbitrate the matter. The email contains an attachment titled “comlaint,” which is a trojan known as backdoor.robofo. The IRS does not provide dispute arbitration services and has no Busines Comlaint Arbitration Division.

In the other scam, the email claims to be from the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Unit. The email says that the target is under investigation for filing a false return. Like the first scam, the email includes a trojan attachment titled “Complaint.”

?Everyone should beware of these scam artists,? says Kevin M. Brown, Acting IRS Commissioner. ?Always exercise caution when you receive unsolicited e-mails or e-mails from senders you don?t know.?

That’s good advice. Users shoudl note that the IRS almost never sends email and certainly does not send unsolicited email or notices of action via email. Surely none of our readers are surprised to hear that there is an IRS spam scam circulating. This is one of the oldest tricks in the spamming book. The interesting question is why? People (targets) are more likely to take an action that the spacker wants them to if a) They believe that the email is from an authoritative source (for better or for worse, that explains the IRS), and b) their defenses are lowered due to fear or urgency (being on the IRS’s naughty list does that), c) the timing is right. In the case of timing, IRS scam emails always ramp up before tax day and continue afterwards.

Yes, the email crap continues to flow through the net, but, look on the bright side, at least we all have a good excuse to delete any email that seems to come from the IRS without looking at it!

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