Cyber criminals use tax-time tricks to propagate malware: BitDefender

Cyber criminals are impersonating the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in a bid infect Australian’s computers with malware, a new study has found.

According to research from cyber-security firm, BitDefender, the spam assault occurred in three waves this tax time, with the largest allotment of ATO-related spam (10,000 emails) issued almost a month after the end of the financial year.

Graph for Cyber criminals use tax-time tricks to propagate malware: BitDefender

Source: BitDefender

The email claims users are entitled to substantial refund – usually totalling between $5000 to $6000 - and then prompts them to open its malware ridden attachment.

Once opened, the malware attempts to steal user’s passwords and access codes to their bank accounts. Alternatively, it can also reap information that can be used for identify theft by savvy cyber criminals.

BitDefender has also warned about another trend which is seeing cyber criminals impersonate banks in order to claim similar information.