Security Corner

Oct 17 2008   1:26AM GMT

Beware of E-Mail Scam Targeting Microsoft Customers

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

The latest e-mail scam targeting Microsoft customers delivers the Backdoor:Win32/Haxdoor trojan as an attachment. The email looks like this:

Dear Microsoft Customer,

Please notice that Microsoft company has recently issued a Security Update for OS Microsoft Windows. The update applies to the following OS versions: Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows Millenium, Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista.

Please notice, that present update applies to high-priority updates category. In order to help protect your computer against security threats and performance problems, we strongly recommend you to install this update.

Since public distribution of this Update through the official website http://www.microsoft.com would have result in efficient creation of a malicious software, we made a decision to issue an experimental private version of an update for all Microsoft Windows OS users.

As your computer is set to receive notifications when new updates are available, you have received this notice.

In order to start the update, please follow the step-by-step instruction:
1. Run the file, that you have received along with this message.
2. Carefully follow all the instructions you see on the screen.

If nothing changes after you have run the file, probably in the settings of your OS you have an indication to run all the updates at a background routine. In that case, at this point the upgrade of your OS will be finished.

We apologize for any inconvenience this back order may be causing you.

Thank you,

Steve Lipner
Director of Security Assurance
Microsoft Corp.

Anyone reading this can spot the obvious grammar and punctuation mistakes, the first things that should alert them that this is a scam. But, as we know, users blindly click on anything and everything, especially links in official-looking messages.

Please advise your users to immediately delete this message if they receive it, and continue to advise them to NEVER click a link or open an email that they are not sure about. It’s better to err on the side of caution.

By the way, Consumer Reports has an Online Security Guide posted on their website. It’s well worth looking at and certainly good for your non-savvy users as it’s written for, well, consumers.

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