There are a few major common subjects in a phishing attempt. The majority are either PayPal or your Bank or Credit Card, with a message saying some thing like :
- There have been unauthorised or suspicious attempts to log in to your account, please verify
- Your account has exceeded its limit and needs to be verified
- Your account will be suspended!
- You have received a secure message from < your bank>
- We are unable to verify your account information
- Update Personal Information
- Urgent Account Review Notification
- We recently noticed one or more attempts to log in to your PayPal account from a foreign IP address
- Confirmation of Order
- Your account will be limited until we hear from you
The original email looks like this. It will NEVER be a genuine email from PayPal or Your Bank so don’t ever follow the links in the email. This particular one is very badly done , bears no relation to any genuine PayPal email and the site it sends you to doesn’t even vaguely look like a Paypal site. The only reason I am posting this one is because of the sheer numbers of this email I have received ( about 150 so far today ), so they must be being sent by one of the bigger botnets. It is being sent to hundreds of CC addresses and all the addresses are in the to box on the email
PayPal account information :
Dear PayPal user ,
Your account will be limited if you not confirm it .
Some information on your account appears to be missing or incorrect.
Please update your account promptly so that you can continue to enjoy
all the benefits of your PayPal account.
If you don’t update your account within 37 days, we’ll limit what you can do with your PayPal account.
Please Login to confirm your information :
Reference Number: PP-003-211-347-423
This particular phishing campaign starts with an email with a link. In this case to a hacked compromised website, which looks nothing like any genuine PayPal page
This one wants your personal details, your Paypal account log in details and your credit card and bank details and your email log in details . Many of them are also designed to specifically steal your facebook and other social network log in details.
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.
All of these emails use Social engineering tricks to persuade you to open the attachments that come with the email or click the link in 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.