On Thursday, cyber-security researchers in India announced the discovery of a malicious free gift campaign posing as a Tata Motors offer that is collecting users’ data, and the campaign has been linked back to Chinese hackers.
The CyberPeace Foundation’s research arm, based in New Delhi, received certain links through WhatsApp connected to a free gift offer from Tata Motors, which collected browser and system information as well as cookie data from users.
Commenting on the development, the research team said in a statement “The campaign is pretended to be an offer from Tata Motors but hosted on the third-party domain instead of the official website of Tata Motors which makes it more suspicious,”
If a user opens the link on a smartphone device with the WhatsApp app installed, the site’s sharing tools will launch the WhatsApp application on the device, allowing the user to share the link.
The team said “The prizes are kept really attractive to lure the laymen,”
“Tata Motors Cars, Celebrates sales exceeding 30 million.” is the title of the fake website.
A congrats message appears on the landing page, along with an attractive photo of a Tata Safari car, inviting users to do a brief survey in exchange for a free TATA Safari vehicle.
The research revealed, “Also, at the bottom of this page, a section comes up which seems to be a Facebook comment section where many users have commented about how the offer is beneficial,”
Users have three chances to win the prize after clicking the OK button.
After completing all of the attempts, it displays the message user has won “TATA SAFARI”
“Congratulations! You did it! You won the TATA SAFARI!” By clicking on the ‘OK’ button, it then asks users to share the campaign on WhatsApp.