Tax Season Headaches and Malware Campaigns

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Cybercriminals Aim to Spoof Accounting & Payroll Firms This Tax Season

Cristal M Clark

This should not come as a total surprise to anyone, cybercriminals are aiming high this tax season by going after some pretty major accounting and payroll firms along with your hard-earned cash or tax return.

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The deadline for filing taxes in the US is April 15 but as luck would have it, tax season just so happens to start for some well before that and well beyond that despised date here in the US. For many businesses, they actually prepare employee tax information i.e. 1099’s and W-2’s back in January of each year. Which in turn gives cybercriminals a wee jump start on launching campaigns in the hopes of robbing individuals and businesses in their tax fraud, financial fraud and identity theft schemes.

Not all that uncommon of a practice for cybercriminals, this year they just decided to go after accounting and payroll firms, thus branching out from businesses and individual tax payers. IBM X-Force researchers found 3 campaigns were attempting to deceive recipients into believing they were emailed by large accounting, tax and/or payroll services firm which carried malicious Microsoft Excel attachments with a payload familiar to us as one of the most common and effective banking Trojans: TrickBot.

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TrickBot for those who unfamiliar, is financial malware that silently infects devices for the primary purpose of stealing valuable data such as banking credentials, then follows up with wire fraud from the device owner’s account. Should your computer become infected with TrickBot, the cybercriminals operating it would then have complete control and could do virtually anything that they wish on your device, including spreading to other computers on your network and emptying your company’s bank accounts, potentially costing millions of dollars to an employer and to any firms that they are working with.

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Cybercriminals are becoming more and more brazen in their efforts to rob just about anyone and everyone that they can and legally, catching them is more difficult as each year passes because these guys learn from the mistakes of others and often times step up efforts to mask who and where they are operating from.

From an end user perspective, it’s often difficult to tell what’s real and what is not in terms of what emails are coming through, I usually advise everyone to not click on things from anyone you do not know and even if what might be sitting in your email appears to be from a known sender, if they do not email you or send links, invoices, etc, don’t click on it and report the suspicious email to the known senders company, keep your security software up to date, and report anything suspicious, ask questions, look it up online the point is, educate yourself.

Gone are the days that we can rely on the news or the government to keep us informed about every malware campaign coming at us simply because of the sheer volume of them.

Stay vigilant my friends.

Cristal M Clark

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Poacher Killed Devoured by Locals

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Poacher Killed then Eaten

Cristal M Clark

In a turn of the tables here, a would be poacher was out doing what a would be poacher does when a sweet loving elephant trampled him, killed him then he was promptly eaten by hungry lions. This is really in all reality a case of wildlife gaining a rather extraordinary upper hand and turning the tables on the hunter who kills for fun.

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I never understood the fun in killing something just for the hell of it, they kill just to be able to say they hunted and murdered something they just want to post pictures of, dead on social media and in the case of a poacher, they kill to harvest things like a rhinos horn.

According to news reports coming out of Kruger National Park, South Africa, “Only a skull and a pair of trousers remained after the suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and then eaten by lions.”

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I’m guessing the wildlife in the area could care less about posting posed pictures of their human kill on Facebook, posing his rotting dead corpse for the world to see as if it were a trophy, they’d rather eat the guy and shocking these animals are not harvesting any part of the guy as an aphrodisiac. 

The poacher entered the park with four others and the purpose was to poach rhinos when things went a little sideways for the poacher.  

In case you were wondering, the African rhino is targeted for its horn because of the belief among some who practice Eastern medicine, the horn has benefits as an aphrodisiac, making it more valuable than cocaine in parts of the world.

“Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains leaving only a human skull and a pair of pants.”

Of the others, well the four individuals who joined the illegal hunt were arrested Wednesday by the South African Police Service, and officers continue to investigate what happened.

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Kruger National Park is considered an intensive protection zone, and the government employs a range of resources to deter poaching, including aircraft, dogs, special rangers and an environmental crime investigation unit but do they really need all of that when the wildlife in the park tends to take matters into its own hands?

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop on twitter

https://www.instagram.com/crimeshop.cc/?hl=en

And https://gab.ai/thecrimeshop