American Express Account Alert: IMPORTANT CardMembership Notification – Phishing And Possible Malware

Jpg Malware

Account Alert: IMPORTANT CardMembership Notification pretending to come from American Express <> with a html webpage attachment.

Once you see the HTML attachment you naturally think that it is one of the routine phishing attempts we so frequently see. But this time it doesn’t appear to be and seems to be a malware downloader. So far I have been unsuccessful in actually getting any payload or indeed a full analysis of it but hopefully one of the analysts will soon reply to me. My antivirus (Eset Nod )alerted immediately I tried to do anything with it

Eventually I managed to examine it without any risk to the computer and it does display a phishing site asking for all your personal and financial details

It also has various encrypted code that I haven’t decoded so there is still a reasonable possibility of some malware being silently downloaded as well

All the alleged senders, companies, names of employees and phone numbers mentioned in the emails are all innocent and are just picked at random. Some of these companies will exist and some won’t. Don’t try to respond by phone or email, all you will do is end up with an innocent person or company who have had their details spoofed and picked at random from a long list that the bad guys have previously found. The bad guys choose companies, Government departments and organisations with subjects that are designed to entice you or alarm you into blindly opening the attachment or clicking the link in the email to see what is happening.

Please read our How to protect yourselves page for simple, sensible advice on how to avoid being infected or scammed by this sort of socially engineered malware.

The email looks like:


Save time, see your account at a glance



Hello, Valued CardMember


Account Starting:



View Account
Make a Payment
Manage Alerts Preferences


Account Notification
View Account

Here is your account update notification.


As requested, We’re sending you this timely notification of a recent change in identity procedure for account holders.Your profile and billing information needs to be validated.


In spite this improvement, By passing back and forth personal details that only you and us know, you can feel even more secure with your cardmember access experience. We recognize you and you recognize us.




See Attached, It contains a Single Web Page File (HTML). Download to a convenient location.Open the Web Page File( HTML) to continue activation.


Thank you for your Card Membership.



American Express Customer Care


The attached webpage looks like :

4 August 2015: AYNEUS018829.html Current Virus total detections: 4/55

Be very careful with email attachments. 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.

The basic rule is NEVER open any attachment to an email, unless you are expecting it. Now that is very easy to say but quite hard to put into practice, because we all get emails with files attached to them. Our friends and family love to send us pictures of them doing silly things, or even cute pictures of the children or pets.

Never just blindly click on the file in your email program. Always save the file to your downloads folder, so you can check it first. Most ( if not all) malicious files that are attached to emails will have a faked extension. That is the 3 letters at the end of the file name.

Unfortunately windows by default hides the file extensions so you need to Set your folder options to “show known file types. Then when you unzip the zip file that is supposed to contain the pictures of “Sally’s dog catching a ball” or a report in word document format that work has supposedly sent you to finish working on at the weekend, you can easily see if it is a picture or document & not a malicious program. If you see .EXE or .COM or .PIF or .SCR at the end of the file name DO NOT click on it or try to open it, it will infect you.

While the malicious program is inside the zip file, it cannot harm you or automatically run. When it is just sitting unzipped in your downloads folder it won’t infect you, provided you don’t click it to run it. Just delete the zip and any extracted file and everything will be OK. You can always run a scan with your antivirus to be sure. There are some zip files that can be configured by the bad guys to automatically run the malware file when you double click the zip to extract the file. If you right click any suspicious zip file received, and select extract here or extract to folder ( after saving the zip to a folder on the computer) that risk is virtually eliminated.

Never attempt to open a zip directly from your email, that is guaranteed way to get infected. The best way is to just delete the unexpected zip and not risk any infection.

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