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Holiday Season Phishing Scams and Malware Campaigns

Original release date: November 18, 2010 | Last revised: October 23, 2012

As the winter holidays are quickly approaching, US-CERT is republishing this entry to increase awareness.

In the past, US-CERT has received reports of an increased number of phishing scams and malware campaigns that take advantage of the winter holiday and holiday shopping season. US-CERT reminds users to remain cautious when receiving unsolicited email messages that could be part of a potential phishing scam or malware campaign.

These phishing scams and malware campaigns may include but are not limited to the following:

  • electronic greeting cards that may contain malware
  • requests for charitable contributions that may be phishing scams and may originate from illegitimate sources claiming to be charities
  • screensavers or other forms of media that may contain malware
  • credit card applications that may be phishing scams or identity theft attempts
  • online shopping advertisements that may be phishing scams or identity theft attempts from bogus retailers
US-CERT encourages users and administrators to use caution when encountering these types of email messages and take the following preventative measures to protect themselves from phishing scams and malware campaigns:

This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.

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