Friday, April 6, 2012

Attacked by Email

  We are seeing a massive swarm attack of imitation emails.   They look legit, but when you click on them WHAM, your computer is infected, crashed, or worse you become a casualty of identity theft.  

We are getting calls daily from people falling victim to these attacks.  Common imitation emails are:

-          FedEx Shipment (or other)
-          IRS Tax Issue
-          Verizon / ATT Bill
-          Bank Statements
-          PayPal Activation
-          BBB Claims
-          Flight Confirmation
-          Many more…

You can protect yourself Watch This Video:


1.       How do you know if an email is safe to click?

Watch the video for techniques to identify bad emails.

- Visual Check
- Mouse over the links.
- Are links all to different places?
- Did you expect an email from the sender?
- If in doubt - DON'T CLICK THE LINK

2.       What are these emails?

Well first they are spam emails. Second they are usually phishing emails or they have a virus attached. 

3.       But I have Anti-Virus?

Most of the FedEx type fake emails have an attachment; once you click it your computer becomes infected. Most good anti-virus software will catch this, but not always. Just like in medicine, sometimes there has to be a sickness before there can be a vaccine.

Many times it takes hundreds or thousands of computer infections before anti-virus vendors have created a 'cure' and enabled your computer to be protected.

4.       What's a Phishing Email?

The phishing emails send you to a cloned 'authentic-looking' website asking you to provide private information. Once submitted the criminals now have your information and will use it to gain access to your real banking sites, email (to re-send more spam), company network, and any other way they can steel more personal info in a greedy effort to use identity theft to make a buck.

5.       Why am I getting these emails?

Why do you get junk mail in your home or business snail-mailbox?   Your physical address is public record.  If someone has your email in their contact list, and they get infected, everyone in the contact list (that including you) now gets spam from that computer. This spreads like wild fire across the internet. Infecting computer after computer.

Every time you sign up for something online or 'create an account' (coupons, tickets, auction sites, games, etc.) you are usually asking for spam. Some websites say they won't spam you, but when times get tough, they sell off their email lists to marketing companies. (Email lists is big money)

6.       What should I do?

Good Anti-Spam will block much of this. But not all

Good Anti-Virus will protect against most of this. But not all

Make sure you have a trusted IT Professional monitoring your network.   Make sure your computer / server / network security systems are in place, updated and maintained. 

And above all, help everyone to develop safe internet / email habits. DON'T click a link you don't absolutely trust. Treat every link / website / email like a person at your front door at 11:00pm at night, would you let them in? 


Happy Clicking!

Nathan DeSutter
IT Consultant

Contact me: