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Bad guys involved in spam distribution tried to capitalize on public fears of the WannaCry ransomware epidemic with spam and phishing emails over the second quarter, a new report found.

Also during the quarter, there was an increased amount of mass mailings targeting corporate networks and mass mailings of malicious Trojans, according to the Kaspersky Lab “Spam and phishing in Q2 2017” report.

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The WannaCry ransomware attack affected more than 200,000 computers across the world, and spammers instantly capitalized on the opportunity. Researchers detected a large amount of spam messages offering services such as protection from WannaCry attacks, data recovery, and, moreover, educational workshops and courses for users.

In addition, spammers were able to implement a traditional scheme of fraudulent offers to install software updates on affected computers, which instead redirected people to phishing pages aimed to steal the personal data of victims.

Cyber Security

Another top trend reported in the second quarter is the number of mass mailings targeted at corporate networks.

Based on Kaspersky Lab research, these have expanded since the beginning of the year.

Spammers began to widely disguise malicious mailings as corporate correspondence, by using the identities of corporate mail services, including real signatures, logos and even banking information. In archives attached to the email, cybercriminals sent out exploit packages targeted at stealing FTP, email and other passwords. Kaspersky Lab researchers said most attacks on the corporate sector have financial goals.

In addition, researchers detected a growth in number of mass mailings with malicious Trojans, sent on behalf of international delivery services. Spammers were sending shipping reports with information about non-existent parcel deliveries. With the aim to infect computers or to steal personal credentials, criminals were found spreading download links with malware, including the banking Trojan Emotet, first detected in 2014. Overall, the volume of malicious mass mailings have increased by 17 percent, according to the report.

“During the second quarter of the year, we have seen that the main trends in spam and phishing attacks have continued to grow,” said Darya Gudkova, spam analyst researcher at Kaspersky Lab. “The use of WannaCry in mass mailings proves that cybercriminals are very attentive and reactive to international events. Moreover, cybercriminals have started to focus more on the B2B sector, seeing it as lucrative. We expect this tendency will continue to grow, and the overall amount of corporate attacks, and their variety, will expand.”

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