New Spam Campaign Exploits Pinterest



Security researchers have discovered a new spam campaign using the Pinterest brand to
spread malware via a Blackhole Exploit Kit.

The messages looks like legitimate emails from Pinterest, informing users their passwords have been reset and urging them to click on the included link to see their new ones. This may fool some users into thinking it’s legit as most know companies will always direct users to their websites rather than ask or show personal details in emails. However anyone who clicks on the link is sent through a dizzying series of website redirects which ends with the download of TROJ_PIDIEF.USR, a trojan horse that calls to a remote server and downloads another piece of malware called BKDR_KRIDEX.KA.

A member of the Cridex family, it allows a hacker to remotely access an infected PC and take total control over it. This allows them to steal personal info and sensitive documents, use the PC’s internet connection and email accounts to pump out spam and call to a remote server to download more malware, block any anti-virus programs, and more. Cridex in particular monitors the computer for visits to online banking sites and steals the log on credentials typed in. This data is then used by the hacker to clean out the account, go on a spending spree, or sell on the black market to other hackers.

It’s imperative your employees are continuously educated on how to spot and protect themselves from phishing attacks and malicious spam. Both can seriously compromise your network and the data it holds, costing you your customer’s trust and possibly a great deal of time and money.

Written by Sue Walsh


  1. Maria Ortiz · July 13, 2013

    The urge to SEE your new password is kind of suspicious because sites usually don’t create new passwords for you but simply prompt you to do it. I suppose this line was included because spammers thought that if they ask users to follow a link and reset their password, a large portion of the users who are accidental users of Pinterest might not even bother to do it, while another portion might get suspicious and decide not to follow the link at all. But still this SEE thing rings a bell, which for everybody who knows the mechanism of spam and phishing is a sign not to act.

  2. Grace Nicola · July 22, 2013

    Once again, I’d like to reiterate the importance of educating email users. Companies should hold regular learning and update sessions with their employees. Work-at-home folks – especially those whose tasks focus on different social media – should likewise find ways to be regularly updated with the latest in the spam and phishing world.

    Pinterest is one of the fastest growing (in terms of members) social networks, so it’s alarming that something like this happened. It’s scary because with just a few clicks, spammers can clean out your accounts and go on a merry shopping spree without your knowledge or suspicion.

  3. Stephanie · July 26, 2013

    This is quite sad. I love Pinterest, and I hate to hear that it’s been exploited this way. So far, I haven’t received any of such information, but I’m glad I get to read this because by then I’ll be ready. I don’t know if Pinterest already knows this or that other users have. But I guess this problem only means one thing: Pinterest is definitely on the ranks of Twitter and Facebook as far as effective social media is concerned.

  4. Sandy · July 30, 2013

    We do share the same sentiments, Sandy, but I’d like to think it’s still a very safe social media website to use. Besides, Twitter was hacked before, and yet it still has millions of members from all over the world. I think the secret there is to be attentive and employ stringent measures to avoid one from happening again.

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