What Is The Peter Pan Virus And Why Is It A Threat?

scam - Shutterstock © Sam72

Warning sounded about convincing phishing email dubbed the Peter Pan virus, threatening computer users

A new security scare is underway after a new and very sophisticated phising email scam threatens hundreds of thousands of British computer users.

The phising email has been dubbed the “Peter Pan virus”, after thousands of people received an email scam that claims they have booked tickets to see a Christmas pantomime in Bournemouth.

Peter Pan Virus

The scam is all the more convincing, as it masquerades as being from a real life ticketing company BH Live Tickets.

The scam email is an email invoice for £145, and tells the recipient that they have booked nine tickets to the 7pm performance of Peter Pan at Bournemouth Pavilion on 23 December. It invites recipients to open the attached e-tickets, but in reality doing so installs malicious software (malware) on to the recipient’s computer.

NSA backdoor broken packlock encryption security © keantian ShutterstockAccording to Derek Knight at the My Online Security blog, people who open the attachment may install Cryptolocker, which typically locks the recipient out of their computer until they pay a ransom. The malware may also attempt to steal a user’s passwords and login details for websites such as Facebook.

“At approximately 7.30 this morning BH Live started to receive a high-volume of calls from members of the public in connection with an email purporting to come from BH Live Tickets,” said BH Live Tickets in a statement. “The email contains attachment(s) and hyperlinks relating to a booking for Peter Pan.”

“BH Live’s Information Security teams together with information technology professionals and suppliers have investigated the matter and confirm that its internal systems have not been breached and that the emails were sent from known SPAM IP addresses,” it warned. “The emails are not genuine and do not originate from BH Live.”

It advised any members of the public to delete the emails and not to open any attachments or links.

Gullible Public?

Phising emails are nothing new for computer users. Typically, these emails resemble emails from genuine businesses such as banks or companies.

Earlier this month, McAfee Labs warned that phishing continues to be an effective tactic for infiltrating enterprise networks, with 79 percent of UK business people falling for them hook, line and sinker.

It tested the ability of 18,000 business users globally to detect online scams, but the McAfee Phishing Quiz discovered that the 79 percent of the 1,755 UK participants failed to detect at least one of seven phishing emails. Furthermore, results showed that finance and HR departments, those holding some of the most sensitive corporate data, performed the worst at detecting scams.

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