Valentine’s “Love” In Your Inbox – Could Be Malware On Your Computer.

imageValentine’s Day will be on us before we know it – so, it’s not too early to get ready for the deluge of  “I love you”, “Wish you were mine”………………., and of course, the customary – “Happy Valentine’s Day” emails.

Hopefully, you will have a Happy Valentine’s Day – but, that happy feeling could be ruined, if you fall victim to the explosion of “spam and scam” that’s aimed at lovers, this time of year –  every year. Much of it designed to take a swing at unsuspecting users machines – leading to a malware infection.

In previous years, starting  just about this time, we saw abnormally high rates of this type of spam and, since cyber crooks are opportunity driven; we’ll see much more of this type of cybercriminal activity this year, I expect.

Perhaps you’re a very cool person who’s significant other is always sending you neat little packages in your email. MP3 files, screensavers, cartoons, YouTube videos, and the like. Could be – you get them so often, that you just automatically click on the email attachment without even thinking. If, you are this type of person, here’s a word of advice – start thinking.

The hook, as it always is in this type of socially engineered email scam, is crafted around exploiting emotions. We’re all pretty curious creatures and, let’s face it, who doesn’t like surprises. I think it’s safe to say, we all find it difficult, if not impossible, to not peek at love notes received via email.

The unfortunate truth is, these spam emails often contain links that deliver advertisements, or worse – redirect the victim to an unsafe site from which malware can be installed on the victim’s computer.

Here’s a tip – If you see something along the lines of – This email contains graphics, so if you don’t see them, view it in your browser – consider very carefully – before you click on the link.

A couple of years ago, a friend, who is an astute and aware computer user, fell for one of these carefully crafted teasing emails. On opening the email, he was taken to a site which had pictures of hearts and puppies, and was then asked to choose which one was for him. You’ll notice that “choosing” involved opening an executable filea cardinal sin.

image

Fortunately, he got his geek on in time – common sense prevailed, and he backed out of this site. If he had clicked on this executable file, he would have begun the process of infecting his machine with a Trojan. A Trojan which, in this case, connected to a remote command and control site – (effectively, turning over control of his computer to a cybercriminal). Nasty – I think you’ll agree.

Experienced users are on guard year round for these, and other types of scam/spam email.

You know what to do; right?

Don’t open emails that come from untrusted sources.

Don’t run files that you receive via email without making sure of their origin.

Don’t click links in emails. If they come from a known source, type them on the browser’s address bar.

If they come from an untrusted source, simply ignore them, as they could take you to a web site designed to download malware onto your computer.

Cyber crooks have moved on from using just emails, as a malware delivery vehicle. So, be on the lookout for fraudulent Valentine’s Day greetings in:

Instant Messenger applications.

Twitter.

Facebook.

Chat forums, and so on.

This just in @ 11:56

Uzbekistan Government Cancels Valentine’s Day

That settles it – I’m not giving any Uzbek women my love in protest. Sorry ladies.   🙂

11 Comments

Filed under bots, Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, Email, Malware Alert, Social Networks, spam

11 responses to “Valentine’s “Love” In Your Inbox – Could Be Malware On Your Computer.

  1. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    No doubt some love deprived people are going to get stung. I feel sorry for them. I won’t be one of them though. I’m love deprived but not stupid lol.
    Cheers

    • Hey Mal,

      Yep, I’ll be safe too – nobody loves me at the moment. Which means I’m saving time, money,…………. And, as a bonus – no malware.

      Now what could be better? Don’t answer that. 🙂

      Best,

      Bill

  2. delenn13

    Well, I am gonna give my husband a link with 5 exes(5 games). No husband can resist “The Gunstacker” ..machine gun with rifle on top…or 3 chainsaws and a flamethrower… I will have him eating out of hand…. 🙂

    • Hey Delenn13,

      I hear ya! Give your man a machine gun with rifle on top…or 3 chainsaws and a flamethrower – yeah, you’re right, he’ll follow you anywhere. Smart woman!! 🙂

      Best,

      Bill

  3. delenn13

    The smart part is : It cost less than $4.00. NTM, it’s 6 games not 5. There’s a bonus in the bundle. But 2 games are Steam only so he will be “Meh” on them. The Serious Sam Pack – Indie Royale The price is up to $4.16 now.

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Recently bought a copy of Medal of Honor (Limited Edition) – cost me $10 at a pawn shop. Finished the entire game in under 5 hours – even at 10 bucks that’s a rip-off. So yeah, your deal sounds like a GOOD deal.

      Best,

      Bill

  4. John Bent

    @delenn13

    If you need to give your husband games to get him eating out of your hand, you’re doing something wrong 🙂

  5. delenn13

    He just had surgery so give me a break… besides we all know what they say about men and their toys…

  6. delenn13

    No grieving here. Just tired of playing “Nancy Nurse”. What’s funny(No, it’s not.)is that he only hurts when he has to do something he doesn’t want/like to do. He keeps it and he is gonna need more surgery because he will be wearing The Gunstacker in a very dark space.

    • John Bent

      Men, huh? You’re in it for the long haul. I’ve been married to my wife for 45 years and I’m still not perfect 😉