Ham disguised as spam

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Oct 17, 2008

Webshop makes mass-mailing look like phishing scam.

An email addressed to 'Dear customer', in which a user is asked to check their account details, using a link that does not lead to the sender's domain: one would hope that modern web users would not be taken in for a second by such an obvious phishing scam, but would simply delete the email after the briefest of glances.

Except that it wasn't a scam. Dutch company Bol.com sent five million such emails to its customers - many of whom, the company claims, did follow the link as requested in the message and check their details. Because of the migration to a new website, the company - the biggest webshop in the country - wanted to make sure no details had been lost. The link led to the domain of the company hired by Bol.com to send out its mailings.

When asked for a reaction by Dutch website security.nl, a spokesman for the company said he could understand users' concerns, but that only a handful of people actually believed it was a phishing scam. He said he would contact these users personally.

However, the biggest concern should not be the people who did not check their details, but the many users who did. Those users have now learnt from experience that such an email can be genuine. Are they now more or less likely to guess, next time they receive an email claiming to be from their bank or from Paypal, that it is a phishing scam?

Posted on 17 October 2008 by Virus Bulletin

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

New article: Run your malicious VBA macros anywhere!

Kurt Natvig explains how he recompiled malicious VBA macro code to valid harmless Python 3.x code.

New article: Dissecting the design and vulnerabilities in AZORult C&C panels

In a new article, Aditya K Sood looks at the command-and-control (C&C) design of the AZORult malware, discussing his team's findings related to the C&C design and some security issues they identified.

VB2021 localhost call for papers: a great opportunity

VB2021 localhost presents an exciting opportunity to share your research with an even wider cross section of the IT security community around the world than usual, without having to take time out of your work schedule (or budget) to travel.

New article: Excel Formula/Macro in .xlsb?

In a follow-up to an article published last week, Kurt Natvig takes us through the analysis of a new malicious sample using the .xlsb file format.

New article: Decompiling Excel Formula (XF) 4.0 malware

In a new article, researcher Kurt Natvig takes a close look at XF 4.0 malware.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.