Well surprise, surprise the scammers are at it again! This time with an scam similar to one I wrote about in December last year NSW Office of State Revenue. This virus hook is also delivered by email and leads to one of those nasty cryptolocker variants.
The way this email starts is with an email indicating that you have a parcel to pick up from the post office. It looks legit, even though Australia Post do not send notification of this by email. Parcel notifications still come from those increasingly endangered but much loved creatures, your local Postie, straight to your door or your mailbox.
If you click on the link it takes you to a remote website that prompts you to enter a CAPTCHA code so you can track your item. That is when you allow the malware to be installed on your device.
It is at this point you get a notification saying that your files have been encrypted and send the nice people who own this bitcoin account $XXX.XX amount of US dollars and they will send you the code to decrypt your files. Yea right! Why would they send you a code even if it did exist and expose themselves even more to capture.
If you are unlucky enough to get hit with this malware, the best thing you can do is shut down your device immediately! Even if this means pulling the plug out of the wall or pulling the battery out. We can sort out the mess that makes later. The longer you leave this virus operating the more time it has to encrypt all your files. Get the device to Dubbo Computer Repairs or one of the other IT businesses in town to remove the problem without further damage to your data.
Be aware that external hard drives and networked computers are not immune to this variant, I have known a business to lose 10 years of data because someone clicked on the link and let it run overnight. It might be a good time review your backup strategy, I posted a short article about this in February here Back Ups.
Why do these criminals try this on? Well, the stakes are high! The original variant of cryptolocker netted two Russians $35,000,000.00 before they were caught. Australia is a relatively wealthy and tech savvy country and the boom in online shopping means more parcels are being delivered than ever before. Crims are not slow to add two and two together and dream of coming up with 35 million.
Operating systems are becoming increasingly secure and the antivirus strategies are becoming more and more successful in shutting down the vast majority of cyber threats.
Be aware though most problems arise because of what happens in that space between the keyboard and the back of the chair. Yes, I mean us. If we do something we probably shouldn't then the best antivirus around is not going to help.
If you are not sure about an email like this you can always check with the horses mouth. ie Australia Posts scam alert page or give me a call.
Continue to be aware and stay safe.