Today is Black Friday, a day that is now reviewed by many retailers, particularly in the US, as the start of the Christmas shopping season. In the 1960's the Philadelphia police coined the term Black Friday to describe the day after Thanksgiving because of the number of traffic jams caused by people visiting shops. The phrase took off and now many shops mark the day with one-off discounts and special offers. The volumes of traffic on the internet on Black Friday mean it has also become a popular day with scammers.
This year there is a warning from the Eleven security blog that criminals are running a gift certificate scam to target internet users. An email sent claims to be from Apple's iTunes store with a ZIP file attached containing malware. This may allow the criminals access to the recipient's computer.
Eleven security says that users believe they have been sent $50 (£32) of iTunes store credit with the attachment containing the certificate code. The actual contents of the file are a program known as Mal/BredoZp-B. This opens up a backdoor on Windows users' computers and could also capture passwords.
PCthreat.com says the code may also make files disappear and slow down the infected computer's performance.
Sophos warns of a different attack linked to Facebook. This time an email is sent claiming that the user has violated Facebook's regulations by annoying or insulting other members. A link then takes users to a web page presenting them with a fake "Facebook Account Disabled" form. This form requests login details, country of residence and the first six digits of their credit card number.
Internet users need to be wary of security threats at all times but particularly around holiday seasons and Black Friday where scammers up their efforts.
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