ALERT: Virus Scam Alert!

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Toronto Garage Door Company, Nov 18, 2003.


    New Virus Appears as PayPal Scam
    Mon Nov 17,12:00 PM ET
    Lincoln Spector, special to

    If you get an e-mail message warning you that your PayPal account is about
    to expire, don't open it. If you open it, don't double-click the attachment.
    If you double-click the attachment, don't complete the form asking for your
    credit card information. And if you do fill in the form, call your credit
    card company immediately.

    And don't blame PayPal. The problem is an e-mail virus, Mimail.I, first
    spotted on November 13. Most viruses are sick jokes; this one's out to steal
    your money.

    How It Works

    Mimail (pronounced "my mail") arrives in an e-mail that appears to be from
    PayPal. In very convincing language, it states that your account will expire
    soon unless you resubmit your credit card information. "We apologize for any
    inconvenience that this may cause," the text politely reads.

    The letter even appears concerned about your privacy: "Please do not send
    your personal information through e-mail, as it will not be as secure."
    Instead, it asks that you run the attached program. That's where you enter
    your valuable information, which it then sends to four different e-mail

    It also scours your hard drive for new e-mail addresses to send the same
    bogus message. These messages, like the one you got, are "spoofed" to appear
    as if they came from PayPal.

    "It appears to be another step in the advancement of spam," says David E.
    Sorkin, an associate professor with the Center for Information Technology
    and Privacy Law, at John Marshall Law School. "A few months ago there was
    talk about spammers using viruses to send spam. Now they're using them for

    Bryson Gordon, senior product manager for McAfee's Security Consumer
    Division, finds this "far more sophisticated in social engineering [than
    previous worms]... We're starting to see marked change in the battle with
    viruses: a worm for profit."

    Slow-Moving Pest

    Luckily Mimail hasn't spread very far--at least not yet. "It's not a major
    event. We're seeing less than a hundred infections overall," says Vincent
    Weafer, a senior director at antivirus vendor Symantec Security Response.

    As Weafer notes, that can change. "103259 Klez sat around for about a week
    and then shot up," he says. But he doubts this one will spread like Klez.
    Mimail is a "relatively easy one to explain. You can say 'If you see this,
    delete it.'"

    But justice is not likely to be served. According to Weafer, the culprits
    will get caught "Only if they're stupid." The logical trail to follow, of
    course, is the four e-mail addresses embedded in the code, but it's possible
    to set up anonymous e-mail accounts without identifying yourself, or set up
    an account with a stolen credit card.

    What to Do

    One thing is for certain: We'll see this sort of trick again, so it pays to
    take precautions.

    Be suspicious of any e-mail that asks for personal information, security
    experts advise.

    PayPal promises it "will never ask for your password or account information
    in an e-mail," and most other companies on the Internet do likewise. If an
    e-mail message contains a link to a form, examine the URL closely--it could
    be just one letter away from the correct domain name.

    Report suspicious e-mail to the company that is allegedly its source. PayPal
    has an e-mail address, , for just this purpose.

    And, of course, keep your antivirus applications and definitions up to date.
    Users of Symantec's Norton AntiVirus products, as well as security programs
    from BitDefender and Network Associates, were able to download the
    appropriate protection by last Friday morning. In addition, both BitDefender
    and Network Associates offer free Mimail fixes on their Web sites.
    Toronto Garage Door Company, Nov 18, 2003
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  2. Toronto Garage Door Company

    andre Guest

    old news

    andre, Nov 18, 2003
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