According to our favorite watchdog site Krebs On Security, these emails look official and display logos of big retailers, and will ask victims to click a link in order to confirm order details. Photos of the spam emails display poor grammar, so that is one thing to watch out for.
The photo from the Target spam email is especially tricky, and something almost anyone could fall for.
If you see any emails asking you to click a mysterious “link” then be on guard. It can be very tempting to click these, especially if they are telling you there’s a package waiting for you.
According to Malcovery, these spam emails started up around Thanksgiving time, and have been spreading the Asprox Spam Botnet malware via infected links and attachments. In their blog post they cite that the hackers are preying on the “fear” and “greed” emotions in recipients. An interesting psychoanalysis, but it proves true. This same scheme popped up during the holidays last year, and the hackers had a field day with it.
The Asprox infection is particularly nasty in that it can turn your computer into a spam-slinging zombie. You may not even notice it has happened, but you will be part of a botnet that sends out pharma spam email, hacks websites when you browse in order to attack other users of that website, and even be a base of infection of other computers yourself.
There are a variety of subject lines that these phishing emails use, including “Order Status”, “Order Confirmation”, “Thank You For Buying From [retailer]”, “Thank You For Your Order”, “Acknowledgment Of Order” and more. You can’t be on the lookout for just one, as these could be subject to change.
If you get an email such as this and you think it might be the real deal, don’t click the links. There are alternate ways of figuring out the situation, including going straight to the website and calling customer service.
Also, if you have older friends and family that may not be so computer savvy and you think may fall victim to this scam, please forward them this article. With enough knowledge we can prevent a lot of spam infections.