Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fake UPS Email That Can Install Spyware on Your System

Don't Open That File! Steer Clear of Emails from 'UPS' about Undelivered Packages


If you've fallen for the latest email scam, you're not alone. Many people trained in good email practices and with a healthy suspicion of unknown senders have wound up with infected computers because of a fake UPS email that's making the rounds.


In this scam, the user gets a message from what looks like the UPS. The message claims that an attachment contains information about an undeliverable package. When the user opens the attached zip file, the file starts downloading trojans and spyware to their computer.


There are a few ways to combat this scam:


1. Most importantly, don't fall for it. The official UPS site makes it easy for you to track packages so that in the event you really are expecting a delivery, you can always go to their site and find out its status. And if you haven't ordered anything delivered via UPS -- junk that email.  The same principles apply for all sorts of email scams, whether it's a phony alert from a financial institution asking you for your bank account number or an email from a purported relative who doesn't seem to know your name.  Be skeptical.  Avoid or delete on receipt any email that is not personalized with your information, is from an unknown recipient, or asks for your personal data.  Any email from an unknown sender, and even email from a family member if it comes with an attachment, should be validated before you open it.  Attachments with file extensions .exe and .vbs are especially dangerous, but of late not even a .pdf can be trusted.


2. Make sure you have anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed and all your definitions updated. A good program will scan every email, every attachment, and everything you download off the web, providing several stop points to avoid downloading a virus.  Products and  update frequencies vary widely, so please do your research or call us if you have questions.


3. Run your virus scan. Then run it again. You may have to run a full scan and removal several times before your system is truly clean.

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