Seattle Department of Motor Vehicles
SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
THE PERSON CHARGED AS FOLLOWS
Time: 0:13 AM
Date of Offense: 28/12/2011
SPEED OVER 50 ZONE
TO PLEAD CLICK HERE AND FILL OUT THE FORM
This email, which claims to be from Seattle Police, informs recipients that they have been issued with a traffic ticket for speeding. The email instructs recipients to click a link and fill in a form if they wish to plead the traffic charge.
The criminals responsible for this attack rely on the fact that at least a few of the people who receive the message will follow through and click the link to the malware site. Some may have really been driving in Seattle at the specified time and therefore be fooled into believing the email's claims and clicking the link. Some others, who were nowhere near Seattle at the recorded time, may click the link in the belief that they need to rectify a mistake made by police.
A very similar "traffic ticket" malware campaign was launched back in mid-2011. The earlier version claimed that recipients had been issued a Uniform Traffic Ticket for speeding in New York State. The New York version hid its malware payload in an attached file.
It is very unlikely that any police or transport department would ever issue a traffic fine via a generic and unsolicited email like the one above. Internet users should be very cautious of any unsolicited emails that claim to be from police or a government department and instructs you to open an attached file or follow a link. Criminals regularly use tactics like these to trick people into installing malware or divulging their private information.
Other versions of this malware email may specify different towns or cities as the location of the supposed offence and change other details in the text and subject line. If you receive any unsolicited email that claims that you have been issued with a traffic ticket or other driving charge, do not click any links or open any attachments that it may contain.