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02-02-2017, 08:37 AM #1
A Warning: My eMail Malware Memoir
First this is not another joke or a shared myth that a quick trip to Snopes.com proves to be false. This just happened to me yesterday afternoon.
I’m neither a novice nor na´ve when it comes to computers, the internet, and online security issues. However, I have to admit this one slipped by me.
I was expecting a package or perhaps two to be delivered by Canada Post yesterday, although in checking later with the package tracker I learned it had been delayed until today.
I was working away troubleshooting a website and a server problem, tired as usual and a bit distracted because I was trying to do two things at once so I could go have a nap. Outlook (Microsoft Office Outlook) popped up a notice indicating that an email had arrived from Canada Post. Of course I went over to have a look and it claimed it had been unable to deliver a package to me the day before. I opened it and it certainly looked like it was from Canada Post. It contained a link for instructions on how to get it re-delivered. Now normally I am very suspicious about that sort of thing and one of the things I do regularly is hover over the link in any email so that outlook displays the actual destination in the notice bar. This time, tired and waiting for that package, I clicked on the link and it opened in my browser. Even as the page was rendering I saw in the address bar that it was certainly not Canada Post. The damn site hijacked my browser before I could stop it and any attempts to backtrack or go to another site gave me a message that the site was insecure.
Before it could do any more damage, I shut down the browser and rebooted to do a malware scan. As it booted up, it loaded something called php.exe or something similar. I killed that immediately. That turns out to be a Trojan, so it was a little extra left behind in addition to the browser hijack.
Three hours and two different AV scans later, I had my system and my browser back. By then, I was even more tired and hungry and mad at myself for not being more careful. I’m posting this to emphasize how easy it is to get hit by malware these days and how quickly it happens – just a careless click and a matter of seconds.
Please share this as widely as you can. The reminder could save you and your friends a lot of time and grief.
Added: Received another one yesterday and this time I paid more attention and took a screenshot:
Last edited by djbaxter; 02-08-2017 at 08:03 AM. Reason: updated with screenshot
02-02-2017, 08:57 AM #2
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02-02-2017, 09:02 AM #3
re: A Warning: My eMail Malware Memoir
Damn hackers and scammers!
Glad you caught it so quickly, but even so, it wasted lots of time and was stressful. Something none of us need! So thanks for the detail about how it happened.
To your point about it happening so fast - you are soooo right. Before you know it, if you just react and click it can get you. I'm pretty good about not clicking email links BUT if I was expecting something from UPS or Amazon I would probably click without checking the link too. That's why this was such a good warning. Most of us would do it in that situation.
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