Until I received this phishing email, I had never even heard of Skrill so had to do a quick lookup to see what it was. It appears to be some sort of money transfer service and payment system. A bit like a PayPal alternative, but much less well known.
We all get very blasé about phishing and think we know so much that we will never fall for a phishing attempt. Don’t assume that all attempts are obvious. Watch for any site that invites you to enter ANY personal or financial information. It might be an email that says “you have won a prize” or “sign up to this website for discounts, prizes and special offers”
Please read our How to protect yourselves page for simple, sensible advice on how to avoid being infected by this sort of socially engineered malware.
The original email looks like this, the entire email body is one image with a hyperlink to the phishing site hidden behind the image.
From: Skrill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu 23/06/2016 12:12
Subject: About Skrill Account: dwuser@[redacted] . Security
Look carefully at the links and you see what at first glance looks like the genuine http://www.skrill.com BUT you need to look further down the line & see the actual phishing site which starts as velvetshutterphotography.com and sends you on to nathanhawkes.com. You always need to look at the last .com or .co.uk or whatever domain name that is right before the FIRST “/ “
Update: I am seeing a steady series of these with different links behind the image. The present ones are not working with a 403 forbidden error, but that can change at any time
If you follow the link you go to http://www.skrill.com.NEFmye.velvetshutterphotography.com/skrill_en/?NEFmye which is immediately redirected to http://www.skrill.com.dtrsbhtnkuqgkjlgyzepuetduefrar.hdbyvc7epgz7nkgyq5nukiz4ljyr1y.y31nosjt9pi5ssbgz6ujg390eiylzx.kxpaattkdrzmmi6opujeqcp7beia2t.ogkp14z4lpfoxb3nvcnziqsymt3vut.e9qpnhinbk3hyqir5dtht2xlpa6imp.nathanhawkes.com/en/index.php and see a webpage looking like:
Where it makes you enter email & password twice. The first time it gives an error message. Once that is done you go to this page, where the drop down box is in Italian
Once you get past that. Next step is last 4 digits of credit card & CVV number
Next they want your verified by visa “password”
When you are then sent on to the genuine Skrill.com site
All of these emails use Social engineering tricks to persuade you to open the attachments that come with the email. Whether it is a message saying “look at this picture of me I took last night” and it appears to come from a friend or is more targeted at somebody who regularly is likely to receive PDF attachments or Word .doc attachments or any other common file that you use every day. Or whether it is a straight forward attempt, like this one, to steal your personal, bank, credit card or email and social networking log in details. Be very careful when unzipping them and make sure you have “show known file extensions enabled“, And then look carefully at the unzipped file. If it says .EXE then it is a problem and should not be run or opened.