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Issue 119 - October 2011 - Page 13

'New Antivirus Update for Windows' Scam Email

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Email claims that a new version of "Antivirus 2011 for Windows" is available and urges recipients to follow a link to download the update.

Brief Analysis
The email is a scam designed to trick users into handing over credit card details and other personal information, ostensibly in order to allow the anti-virus software to be updated. Links lead to a bogus website that attempts to entice visitors into registering an account and using a credit card to purchase site "access and support". Do not follow any links in these spam emails.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

Last updated: 12th September 2011
First published: 12th September 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer

Subject: New Antivirus Update for Windows

Dear customer,

We are pleased to announce the newest version of Antivirus 2011 for Windows which will provide you with total security against the latest spyware, malware, viruses, trojans and any other online threats.

Simply visit the link below and enter your Antivirus code:
Antivirus Code: 5014

Download the latest version here
See why more & more businesses and families trust their security to AntiVirus.

Thank you for choosing us, the worldwide leader Antivirus solutions.

Mike [surname removed]
Internet Security Specialist

Detailed Analysis
This email supposedly announces the availability of a new version of "Antivirus 2011 for Windows" and urges recipients to follow a link to download the update. The recipient is instructed to visit the website and enter the supplied "Antivirus Code" in order to download the new version.

However, the message is not a legitimate antivirus vendor update notification. In fact it is an attempt to trick users into supplying their credit card details to Internet criminals. The message attempts to fool Norton users into believing that they can receive an update to their Norton Antivirus product. However, the message has no connection whatsoever to Symantec or any Norton products. Those who fall for the ruse and click the link as requested will be taken to a website supposedly promoting the antivirus product where they are urged to click the "Download" button and enter their "Antivirus Code". They will then be taken to another page where they are instructed to register on the site, ostensibly to allow the supposed update to be downloaded. As part of the registration process they are then prompted to choose a level of "Access and Support" , all of which require a fee. There is no way of bypassing this registration step and going directly to the supposed update. Those who further comply and choose one of these fee based options, will then be taken to a purchase form where they are required to submit their credit card details and other personal information. Unlike a legitimate online purchase, this bogus credit card transaction is not even conducted on a secure (https) server.

A very similar series of spam emails falsely claim to offer updates for Adobe products. Yet another version pretends to offer Microsoft Office updates. All versions are designed to trick unwary or inexperienced users into handing over their credit card details to cybercriminals. If you receive such an "update" email, do not follow any links or open any attachments that the message may contain.

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Difference Between http & https
Adobe Acrobat Upgrade Phishing Scam Emails

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Issue 119 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Jordon Mills Prayer Request
  2. Amy Bruce Charity Hoax Revisited
  3. 'Australian Taxation Office 'New Rules' Malware Emails
  4. Bogus Facebook Virus Warning - 'Pornographic Movies Posted On Our Behalf'
  5. Are UK Companies Required by Law To Transfer 0800 Callers to UK Based Reps If Requested?
  6. Australia Post Undelivered Package Malware Emails
  7. Hoax: Picture of Shark Swimming in Flooded Street After Hurricane Irene
  8. Circulating Health Warning: Beware of Little White and Black Caterpillars
  9. Harly A. Andrews Prayer Request
  10. UEFA EURO 2012 Email Draw Advance Fee Scam
  11. Farmville White Gift Box Virus Warning Hoax
  12. Sleazy Online Dating Emails Carry Malware
  13. 'New Antivirus Update for Windows' Scam Email
  14. Western Union 'Money Transfer' Trojan Email
  15. Bob Katter and the 'Labor Party's Worst Nightmare' Polemic
  16. Hoax - Collect Bottle Caps For Free Cancer Chemotherapy Treatment
  17. 'Your Credit Card is Blocked' Malware Emails