As tax season approaches a new phishing scam is targeting taxpayers with the goals of taking control of their systems to steal money and private information. Hackers thrive off of e-filed tax returns and this year the IRS expects 90% of tax returns will be filed electronically. The newest phishing scam involves a remote access trojan (RAT) hidden in a seemingly official email with “tax related information.” When users click on this document they immediately and unknowingly infect their computer with malware. Once the malware is installed, hackers have unlimited access to private information that can be sold in underground communities.
Experts say that these RATS, NetWire and Remcos, aren’t new to hackers and have been around for years. They’re available through subscription services for $10 a month making them extremely accessible and tempting for cyber criminals to use. It’s important to note that this malware is designed to go undetected through antivirus systems and is disguised in seemingly normal looking files. As a reminder the IRS never asks taxpayers for personal and financial information through email, phone calls, or text messages.
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