We see lots of phishing attempts for email credentials. This one at first glance is quite believable. It was received by one of the users on this server who runs a small company and probably wouldn’t realise that it wasn’t from me. ( He uses a tablet & mobile phone to manage his account, so wouldn’t see the email address inside the < xxxxxx.xxx> ) I managed to intercept it, before it got to his mail box due to filters and security precautions on the server. I have obviously changed all the identifiable details before posting.
They use email addresses and subjects that will entice a user to read the email and open the attachment. A very high proportion are being targeted at small and medium size businesses, with the hope of getting a better response than they do from consumers.
Remember many email clients, especially on a mobile phone or tablet, particularly IPhone and IPad, only show the Name in the From: and not the bit in <domain.com >. That is why these scams and phishes work so well.
The email looks like:
From: Email Admin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue 04/04/2017 05:44
Subject: ‘email@example.com’ Quota Exceeded! Please Add Now
firstname.lastname@example.org MAIL NOTIFICATION
Your email has used up the storage limit of 99.9 gigabytes as defined by your Administrator.
You will be blocked from sending and receiving messages if not re-validated within 48hrs
Kindly click on your email below for quick re-validation and additional storage will be updated automatically
However, if you do not comply to the above,
Your account will be de-activated shortly and all your email data will be lost permanently.
Email Support © 2017
This message is auto-generated from E-mail security server, and replies sent to this email can not be delivered.
This email is meant for: email@example.com
If you follow the link inside the email you see a webpage looking like this: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
If you look at this alternative screenshot, you will see the phishers have been quite clever and insert the genuine domain details from the email address into the webpage. Remember these social engineering scams work so well because your eye is drawn to the page content and we recognize familiar details like our email address or domain name and don’t think about looking at the real address in the URL bar at the top of the page.
After you input your email address and password, you get a success page
Then are forwarded to the genuine domain.com site. Now if I had used any other email address for example email@example.com I would have been forwarded to this site https://myonline security.co.uk. That way any victim would not realise, unless they looked closely at the url in the address bar that they weren’t on a genuine site. Most of us don’t keep a constant eye on the address bar. We look at the content on the page and if it looks right, we click and do what we are told to do.
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.
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.
|18.104.22.168||rrcs-69-75-232-246.west.biz.rr.com||West Hollywood||California||US||AS20001 Time Warner Cable Internet LLC|
Received: from rrcs-69-75-232-246.west.biz.rr.com ([22.214.171.124]:61161 helo=RadianDC01.RADIAN.local)
by knight.knighthosting.co.uk with esmtp (Exim 4.88)
for firstname.lastname@example.org ; Tue, 04 Apr 2017 05:44:19 +0100
Received: from RadianDC01.RADIAN.local ([127.0.0.1]) by RadianDC01.RADIAN.local with Microsoft SMTPSVC(8.5.9600.16384);
Mon, 3 Apr 2017 21:44:17 -0700
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=”===============0799650082==”
Subject: ‘email@example.com ‘ Quota Exceeded! Please Add Now
From: “Email Admin” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2017 21:44:17 -0700
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 04 Apr 2017 04:44:17.0745 (UTC) FILETIME=[1E50D410:01D2ACFE]