Bogus lottery email carries fake anti-virus payload

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Most of us with email addresses are probably familiar with the phenomenon of lottery scams.

An email arrives, claiming that you have won a substantial amount of money in a lottery you never participated in. Typically the email asks you to make contact – whereupon the scammer will try and derive your personal private information (such as bank account details) or demand an administration fee before the money can be sent to you.

In the latest spam campaign to arrive in our honeypots, things are a little bit different however, and take a sinister new twist.

Attached to the email, which has the subject line “You are a winner.”, is a file called winner.zip.

Unfortunately for the recipient who believes that they are the lucky winner of a lottery, the attachment contains scareware (also known as fake anti-virus) – designed to frighten the unsuspecting user into believing that they have security issues on their computer, and to trick them into purchasing a solution.

Sophos detects the…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.