Physiological studies have observed jealousy in infants as young as five months old and surprisingly, in elderly people. Many psychologists hold the view, that jealousy is a normal and appropriate reaction to the fear of losing a loved one to someone else.
It’s no surprise then, that Cyber-crooks are continuing to use jealousy as a social engineering email hook, to entice potential victims to click on an email containing enclosed links which can lead to the installation of malware.
The following screen capture (from one of my email inboxes, yesterday), illustrates the type of crafty email currently circulating on the Internet. Consider carefully – would you follow the links in this email?
If you had attempted to do so, in this case, you would have been cautioned by bit.ly (a free service that shortens long links), since the original link has been shortened using this service. Kudos to bit.ly for being on the ball here.
(Click pic for larger)
The following is the text of another email of this type, currently circulating on the Net.
I apologize for my frankness. I’m sorry for not being able to speak to you in person, but I can only talk to you via email and I feel obliged to notify you to open your eyes, you are being betrayed.
I know it is difficult to prove, but every picture tells a story, I’ll send you these pictures so that you can see it with your own eyes. Take care…a big hug
From a good friend who is very fond of you
View photos here
In this case, there is no intermediary, like bit.ly – so you’re on your own.
It may well be that certain individuals are not prepared to take the fidelity of a loved one at face value, but these same individuals have no hesitation in opening an email from an unknown sender, it seems.
Do these types of emails work for scammers, do you suppose? You bet! Let me give you an example of how foolish people can be –
Several months ago, I wrote an article “Nude Pics Of Your Wife/Girlfriend Attached – Click Here”, as another of my frequent tests of Internet user gullibility. This is the very type of article frequently used by cyber-criminals to launch penetration attempts. Much to my surprise, the article is now one of the most frequently read articles on this site. I ask you – how careless can people be?
Regular readers of this site are familiar with the following safeguards:
- Install an Internet Browser add-on such as WOT (my personal favorite), which provides detailed results on a site’s safety; protecting you from security threats including spyware, adware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, and online scams.
- As well, WOT now checks links embedded in your email, and warns you of dangerous web sites so that you can avoid spyware, spam, phishing, identity theft and other Internet scams; before you click on dangerous embedded links.
- Don’t open unknown email attachments.
- Disable scripting features in email programs.
- Make regular backups of critical data.
- Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised.
- Turn off file and printer sharing on the computer.
- Install a personal firewall on your computer.
- Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software and ensure it is configured to automatically update when you are connected to the Internet.
- Ensure the anti-virus software scans all e-mail attachments.
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