Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spammers are getting more and more creative

Anyone with an email account should know to be careful about attachments. This came in from the Risks Digest mailing list, Drew Dean writes:

Recently, I've been receiving a number of obvious spams with a ZIP file attached, the zip file name being .zip. Today, for amusement, I saved the download to take a look at it: there was one file in the ZIP archive, named with my email address: ddean@csl.sri.com . The Unix
file(1) program told me everything I needed to know: it's a Windows executable. Now, the .COM extension denotes an ancient MS-DOS executable file format, which, IIRC, is restricted to 64KB of code and data, etc. (The file in question is 28KB or so, UPX compressed [whatever that is].)

But that's a beautiful attempt at social engineering: most people probably don't remember .com being an executable file format, and what harm could a file named with your email address do? Not having Windows handy, I couldn't easily find out, nor would I want to in any case....

Bottom line an attachement from someone you don't know, even if the attachment has a name of your email address, should NOT be opened.

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Sebastian said...

I'd go even further, that many attachments from people you do know are suspect. Not only can a spammer/virus make it seem like something is coming from a friendly email, but many of my email friends are much less vigilant about what they will download from the internet.

I hate cutsy email greeting cards in particular, since those animations can contain all sorts of junk.

Henry Cate said...

"I'd go even further, that many attachments from people you do know are suspect."

I agree. I check every attachment I get, even those from family.