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Have a Happy, Malware and Spam-free Easter!

By DominicD
We would like to greet all the SysChat members a Happy Easter!
Did you know that popular holidays and calendar events are also susceptible to internet spam and malware outbreaks?. This Easter, send the right Easter greeting card, and learn how to avoid fake and malware-laden Easter greeting from spammers.

McAfee has detected the growing spread of fake, spam, and dangerous online Easter Greeting cards. The subject line reads "Easter Greeting From Alex", and people who actually do know an Alex might be forgiven if they clicked through, since the e-mail address from which the message was supposedly sent and the domain name embossed in the image lead to what seems like a legitimate greeting service.

One email appears to be a typical e-card with a colorful image of a bunny, chicks and eggs. A message invites you to “Download Animated Greeting Here.” If you click on the link or image, it installs malware onto your machine that can steal passwords and other sensitive information, as well as give control of your machine to the attacker.

You should be on the lookout for these threats in your inbox, and avoid clicking on any images or links in spam Easter messages.

How the Fake Easter Scam Works
  1. Because the current Easter 2011 scams are still in the process of spreading, it is likely that some may get into your inbox despite the anti-spam features of your email and antivirus.
  2. Avoid opening emails and attachments from unknown senders. Modern email spammers use common names and clever email subject lines to lure doubtful recipients.
  3. Spam emails such as the current Easter Spam, contains real images similar to popular online easter greetings. The catch is, you have to download an attachment or a link to view the full greeting. This is where the malware/virus is hidden.
  4. Do not forward any doubted spam message. Do not download and forward email attachments from unknown or doubtful senders.
  5. When emailing a long list of recipients, it is always a good idea to the lot of recipients in the BCC field of your email client. This hides the email addresses of other people in your message, AND this reduces the risk of exposing their emails to possible future spam.
  6. Make sure your antivirus/anti-malware software is updated and running real-time. Remember to keep Spam filtering options on your email client enabled.

What to do you if you have possibly been victimized:
  • If you’re worried you may be a victim of the scam, update your antivirus software and fully scan your entire computer.
  • If you think your passwords may have been stolen, change them immediately, and contact your online banking provider and other critical sites to make them aware of the issue.
  • Inform your email contacts that your email might have been compromised. Advice them to ignore possible spam emails named after you as the sender.

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