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“Voyeur” malware emails

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Sunday August 15, 2010 )

Most of us have a streak of innocent enough voyeurism – and those seeking to spread malware via email are increasingly exploiting it.

The term “voyeur” is most often associated with ..er.. adult-type activities, but it simply means “one who looks”. It’s human nature to observe what others are doing, whether it’s watching people go about their daily business or reading about our favorite celebs’ antics.

I’ve noticed malware authors are leveraging this tendency more in recent times. I’ve been receiving quite a few emails in the last week or so that appear to be “accidentally” sent to me addressing someone else. The body text is quite innocent, mentions a CV, wedding photos, invitations to a function etc. – all I need to do is open the attachment to view the documents.

The attachment is a zip file that harbors some form of malware that will attempt infect my system with all manner of nastiness.

It never ceases to amaze me how creative spammers and fraudsters can be. If they would only turn their abilities to something more constructive, they might make the cash they so eagerly seek – but legally.

These types of emails make it increasingly difficult for online merchants and companies generally to discern real mail from more nefarious communications. For instance, an email to a HR department with a subject line of “CV” and body text stating something along the lines of “Hello, here is the CV you requested from me; look forward to discussing the position further with you” is going to catch a lot of HR managers out.

As such, it’s important to ensure your anti-virus protection is fully deployed and kept up to date throughout your organization and it’s equally important to educate your employees about the many ploys used by fraudsters.



 

 
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