| BOSTON/NEW YORK
BOSTON/NEW YORK Aug 21 Fraudsters are targeting
JPMorgan Chase & Co customers in an email "phishing"
campaign that is unusual because it attempts to collect
credentials for that bank and also infect PCs with a virus for
stealing passwords from other institutions.
The campaign, dubbed "Smash and Grab," was launched on
Tuesday with a widely distributed email that urged recipients to
click to view a secure message from JPMorgan, according to
security researchers with corporate email provider Proofpoint
JPMorgan, the No. 1 U.S. bank by assets, confirmed that
spammers had launched a phishing campaign targeting its
"It looks like they sent it out to lots of people in hopes
that some of them might be JPMorgan Chase customers, because
there are a lot of them," said bank spokeswoman Trish Wexler."We
are seeing this as a very small incident."
She said the bank believes most of the spam was stopped by
fraud filters at large Internet providers, adding that the email
looked realistic because the attackers apparently used a screen
grab from an authentic email sent by the bank.
Users who click on a malicious link are asked to enter
credentials for accessing accounts with JPMorgan. Even if they
did not comply, the site attempted to automatically install the
Dyre banking Trojan on their PCs, according to Proofpoint.
Dyre is a recently discovered piece of malware that seeks
credentials from customers of Bank of America Corp,
Citigroup Inc and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC
, according to email security firm Phishme. (bit.ly/1lvFaVg)
Proofpoint Vice President of Threat Research Mike Horn said
it is unusual for spammers to infect PCs with malware in the
same campaign that is seeking to persuade users to provide
banking credentials because that increases the odds of
"Usually when they do credential phishing, that is all they
do. In this case they are throwing in the kitchen sink," Horn
Proofpoint saw about 150,000 emails from the group on
Tuesday, the first day it noticed the campaign among its
customers in the Fortune 500 and higher education.
That makes a moderately large campaign, but the largest
attempts involve sending more than 1 million pieces of spam over
a few days to Proofpoint clients, he said. The firm manages over
100 million email accounts.
Horn said that Proofpoint quickly identified the spam and
was able to stop it infecting customers, but was not sure how
effective it was in infecting others.
Horn said that his firm was unsure who was behind the
emails, though much of the campaign's infrastructure was in
Russia and Ukraine and the group's tactics were consistent with
those of Eastern European cybercrime gangs.
(Additional reporting by David Henry in New York; Editing by