Fake Ticket Offer Targeting Cricket World Cup 2011

The most awaited tournament for cricket lovers, the ICC World Cup 2011, begins on February 19, 2011. The ICC World Cup is being played in the Indian subcontinent, and the country’s cricket-crazy population is all set to get hold of World Cup tickets in every possible way—all to witness and experience live international cricket in action. Since this is a hugely followed international sporting event across the world, Symantec has anticipated spam attacks and other Internet threats related to the event. As expected, we are observing World Cup spam in the Symantec Probe Network.

The spam message invites users to attend the final game of World Cup 2011 in Mumbai, India. The invite offers multiple executive club facilities such as a private table, a gourmet champagne brunch, and much more for 10 guests. This may sound like an attractive deal; however, it is simply bait for Internet users/cricket fans who are keen to be a part of the World Cup Final and experience the thrill.

Below are some examples of the spam messages:

Subject: 2011 Cricket World Cup Final

Subject: Experience Cricket World Cup Final

In the past, we have observed spam and phishing attacks targeting cricket events such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) and T20 World Cup. The countdown to this event has begun and we expect to see more sophisticated spam and phishing attacks related to the World Cup. Perhaps the sinister spam attacks will contain attachments that intend to distribute malware using fake video files purportedly showing highlights of the games.

Although World Cup tickets are in high demand, the supply should always be from a legitimate source. Users are advised to refrain from clicking on such mails and opening attachments unless they are from authorized or official sources. Websites that sell tickets and ask for financial or personal information should be protected by SSL certificates and provide visible trust marks to verify their authenticity. Offers such as these entice users to join in on the spirit of the 2011 World Cup games, but the spammers are the only winners.