The Anatomy of a Phishing Email

Today someone was awesome enough to send me an email to make sure that it was valid before they clicked on anything.  I cannot express to you how happy that makes me!!!  It saves me so much work!!!!   Of course, we now have Cylance as our Anti-Virus(AV for short) and that in itself has made my job so much easier!!!!  We’ve had it nearly a year and NOT 1 computer has become infected with ANYTHING!   If you are a business thinking of changing your AV product, I cannot recommend this product highly enough!!!!

First, let me break down the beginning of the email:

From: Media Player <info@flymail.cf>   <———– This is NOT an Apple address
Subject: New version of Mac Media Player available for download!

Apple and Microsoft will NEVER send you an email about this!!!!!!  They would send it to your device through an update!   Sometimes phishers will fake the email address or make it look so close to the real thing.  I’m actually surprised at how bad this email address even looks!   Even if it looks real, and you think it might be a valid email from your bank, Paypal, Amazon anything like that go to the website directly. DO NOT CLICK on the link!

Then we go into the guts of the email:   It’s a bunch of pictures with links attached to them:

2017-04-13_10-24-27

Looks fairly realistic huh?   This is actually very easy to do!!! I just did this with a screenshot!   Anyone with minimal computer experience could do this!

Now, for the most important part. If you just hover over the Download link or anywhere over the pictures, this link comes up:

2017-04-13_10-04-26.jpg

First off, this is NOT an Apple link!  The link here is to a domain named flymail.cf.   The portion of the address that is wrong is the .cf.   That is not a legitimate top level domain name, like .com, .org, gov or .edu.  To see a list of actual top level domain names, you can find it here: http://www.domainsherpa.com/top-level-domains/ .

The other portion of this link that bothers me is track-url.   Now, this leads me to believe that this link is going to track your urls (websites) that you visit.   I’m going to say that this tracking will happen through cross-site scripting.  Essentially this site will inject code into your browser that will capture your sessions on the websites you visit after this website, including your usernames and passwords!!!    

This means if you go to an unsecured website the hacker can easily capture your username and password with this code.  It’s one of the most frequently used types of hacking, it’s called session hijacking.   Later on you start to wonder why you are getting spam, or why did people just get friend requests on Facebook from me when I am already friends with them?   If you use the same password for one site, then the hacker can go to several websites and try that password and have remarkable success!

This is why you need to have different and complicated passwords for all sites you visit. There are password managers that you can use to help you with this.  Let’s face it our brain can’t remember all of our passwords and writing them on a piece of paper and saving them in your desk, or under your keyboard at work are HORRIBLE options!  I will do more research on what password managers are the safest and best to use for my next Tech Tip Thursday.

Oh yeah, and if I find your passwords written on a sticky note taped to your monitor I’m rippin’ that bad boy off and throwing it out!   

 

 

 

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About Amy Ewald

I’m a wife and mother of a 4 ½-year-old daughter. I’ve worked in the IT industry as a Systems Administrator for over 15 years. I experienced my first migraine at age 11. My migraines have progressively grown in frequency and within the last 6 months, I was diagnosed with a chronic migraine. Last month I only had 6 pain-free days. In my pain-free time, I write two blogs, one to educate everyday computer users with Tech Tips, https://techtipthursday.wordpress.com, My other blog is dedicated to helping migraine sufferers, https://mommyhasamigraine.com I also enjoy, walking, yoga, writing, reading and spending time with my family. I'm currently writing and illustrating a children's book for parents with migraines to help their children understand the problem and how they can help!

Posted on April 13, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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