UPDATE 6/12/14: We've just learned that the virus being spread by the new tactics we reported yesterday is, in fact, the dreaded Crypyolocker ransomware, on which we've reported before. All the more reason to think twice before clicking links in emails!
We all know by now that as our safeguards against cybercriminals become more sophisticated, so do their methodologies. It's a classic arms race. What isn't as widely known, though, is that while evolving technical safeguards are invaluable, so is an evolving awareness of the ways criminals try to trick people. As a team of technology experts who partner with our clients to help them get the most out of their technology, we try to help users with both.
Toward that end, we wanted to make everyone aware of two email phishing tactics cybercriminals are using to target unsuspecting users.
Tactic 1: Voicemail Spoofing
We've noticed recently that scammers are trying to trick users into installing malicious software by sending emails designed to look like internal voicemail service messages (see the example below). It's not uncommon for businesses to have systems set up to forward audio files of voicemail messages to the appropriate parties--and such features can be extremely useful. Unfortunately, this also means that tactics like this can be hard for users to detect.
So, what's the answer? If you know your company's phone system has an email forwarding system in place, make sure you know exactly what those legitimate emails look like so that you can distinguish them from scam emails. Above all, don't click on any links or open any voicemail attachments unless you're absolutely sure they are coming from your company's actual voicemail system.
Which brings us to our next point . . .
Tactic 2: Dropbox Links
One of the universal rules of thumb for avoiding malware sent via email is, as we noted above, "Don't click on attachments unless you know with absolute certainty where they are coming from." The more widely known this rule of thumb becomes, the less effective attachments will be for cybercriminals--which is probably why they have now turned toDropbox, an extremely popular (and perfectly legitimate) cloud hosting service.
Instead of sending attachments, some purveyors of malware are now sending links to publicly shared Dropbox folders that contain mailicious software (again, see the image on the left).
So, what's an unsuspecting user to do? The advice is the same as it is with attachments. Don't click on Dropbox links unless you're absolutely sure you trust the sender.
And, when in doubt, always talk to your network adminstrator before clicking on anything. If you're a client of 3n1media, well, you know who to call. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.