Unsubscribe – The Newest Infection Method?
Recently there has been a major uptick in the number of infections that I have seen on client computers. There has also been major infections around the world with Ransomware infections.
Coincidentally, there has been a huge increase in the amount of SPAM emails I have been getting.
One of my clients clicked what he thought was a PDF attachment for an invoice he was waiting for and lost his hard drive to the encryption virus.
To top it off, so many people around the world are also getting hacked with ransomware. Many of these infections are spread from email attachments and links.
In 2003 the CAN-SPAM act was put into effect and the UNSUBSCRIBE link was required for any email that was sent commercially that was not a transactional or other communication.
When I asked my clients what had happened, many of them told me that they had been rapidly infected right after hitting the UNSUBSCRIBE link in an email they had received.
This is the latest round of attacks on our computer systems. I wonder how many of those computers that were infested around the globe happened from an errant clink in an email?
Hackers have now coded the UNSUBSCRIBE links to immediately open a script or virus code as soon as the link is clicked by the unsuspecting recipient of the SPAM mail.
This takes the phishing and other attacks to a new level – even UNSUBSCRIBE might not be safe.
In the past we saw phishing attacks using emails – sites were pretty well duplicated down to the graphics – and some folks fell for it, put their login information into the phishing site and lost access to their regular accounts, and in many cases, had large sums of money transferred out to unknown accounts.
In one experience a number of years back, I spent over three hours getting one client’s accounts back for everything from social media to banking and other accounts.
So the bottom line: make sure that you know who the email is from and verify the authenticity of the sender PRIOR to:
1) opening attachments;
2) clicking on errant links;
3) clicking unsubscribe.
Dealing with the amount of SPAM I get daily can be frustrating so I have setup a separate email account just for dealing with shopping and those advertisements and anything else that might be related to advertising and subscriptions.
I have also setup my computers to use the highest level of junk mail filtering and I go through the junk email box to make sure that good emails that need my attention are attended to.
If you need help with this or any other computer related issue, give me a call (760) 550-9496 and I will be happy to come out and give you a hand!