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ACMA 'Security Upgrade' Phishing Scam

Outline
Supposedly urgent email purporting to be from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) claims that recipients must upgrade their broadband accounts to enable new security measures.



Brief Analysis
The message is not from the ACMA. The message is a phishing scam designed to trick recipients into disclosing their Internet account details to cybercriminals.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.





Last updated: September 3, 2012
First published: September 3, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example

From: Australian Communications and Media Authority
Subject:
Broadband Account Upgrade Pending

Dear Broadband Subscribers,

Urgent news, your Broadband Account needs to be Upgraded for Security Measures!

In our quest to fully eradicate Spamming across Australia, we the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) are kindled with the responsibility of working hand-in-hand with Telecommunication providers, ensuring full upgrade of all subscribers to our newly installed anti-spam and virus filters on our systems, to help serve as a Security measure against high Account manipulation by third parties.

To fully upgrade your account,
It is however founded and believed that its our full responsibility to investigating valid complaints about online content, including internet and mobile phone content, and enforcing Australia’s anti-spam law to better provide you with excellent privacy routine; please note that all these measures are designed having your maximum interest.

If you require any assistance with your upgrade, please contact our support team on [removed].

Kind Regards,
The Support Team

Australian Communications and
Media Authority (ACMA)

Screenshot of ACMA scam email:

ACMA Phishing Scam Email




Detailed Analysis
This email, which claims to be from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), warns users that they must urgently upgrade their broadband accounts to allow new security measures to be implemented. The email, which arrives complete with seemingly official ACMA and Australian Government logos, urges users to follow included links in order to perform the supposed upgrade.

However, the email is not from the ACMA and the claim that broadband users must upgrade accounts is untrue. In fact, the message is a phishing scam designed to trick users into handing their Internet Service Provider (ISP) account details to Internet criminals. Those who follow links in the message will be taken to a bogus website that asks them to login to their ISP account. This login information, along with any other personal information submitted on the fake website, will be sent to the criminals responsible for this scam campaign. After gaining access to this information, the criminals can then use it to hijack user accounts, steal further personal information that may be stored there and use the compromised email accounts to send further scam and spam messages.

ACMA has published the following warning about this phishing scam on its website:

Reports have been received about scam emails claiming to come from the ACMA. The subject heading is ‘Broadband Account Upgrade Pending’ and the subheading is ‘Urgent news, your Broadband Account needs to Upgraded for Security Measures!’ or similar. This is not an ACMA email but links to a ‘phishing’ webpage that seeks details about your internet accounts. It is important that you do not click on the link, and do not provide any details. In the event that you have already done so, please contact your Internet Service Provider as soon as possible.


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References

SCAM alert - ‘PHISHING’ email


Last updated: September 3, 2012
First published: September 3, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer