Consumers are being warned to be on their guard against phishers' fake Apple emails and texts designed to exploit the publicity about this week's nude celeb picture flap.
In addition to scam emails designed to trick gullible recipients into logging into phishing sites, Symantec warns of a likely upsurge in fraudulent text messages falsely claiming to be from Apple Protection or another privacy or security group within Apple.
"The text claims that an unauthorised attempt to sign in to the users’ iCloud account was detected and they need to respond back with their Apple ID and password or have their account locked out," Symantec security response manager Satnam Narang explains in a blog post.
The objective of both of these SMS-ishing (SMS/text phishing) scams is identical to that of the email phishing spam runs: an attempt to snaffle Apple ID credentials. Crooks can either carry out fraud using compromised iTunes accounts or else sell on these credentials through underground hacking forums. "Whether or not iCloud was the point of compromise in this incident, scammers have been interested in stealing these credentials [Apple IDs] for some time," Symantec adds.
Action Fraud has put out an alert about the scam advising recipients NOT to respond to dodgy emails or contact the senders. Attempted frauds can be reported to the UK government-backed fraud reporting service.
While an upsurge in the iCloud phishing scams, which happen all the time, is likely, Trend Micro warns that the so-called "fappening" is already being used as a social engineering lure.
This particular scam targets those looking for the private photos of celebs such as actress Jennifer Lawrence before directing them towards a site supposedly containing a lewd video clip. In reality there is no video and the site only exists to tricks gullible pervs into downloading malware that poses as a video codec, a common Trojan slinger tactic. ®