Lethal here with a Special Announcement Cyber Security Warning hot off my RSS feeds! You can ignore this at your own peril but I felt it was SO important as to warrant my taking time out to create this CYBER SECURITY ALERT!
A ‘Microsoft’ email you should avoid at all costs!
By now, you’re no stranger to phishing emails. These are scam emails that look like they’re from legitimate companies or people. However, they’re really from hackers trying to trick you into opening a malicious attachment or visiting a malicious website.
An email making the rounds today is no exception. This one, which has the subject line “Security,” claims to be from the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, which is a real division of Microsoft. The email even includes the real Microsoft and Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit logos.
The body of the email tells you that you need to validate your email address with the Digital Crimes Unit to receive the latest security updates from Microsoft. To do this, so it says, you have to download and run the email attachment called Microsoft_STF_install.zip.
Of course, if you do download and run the attachment, you’re installing a virus on your system. This will open up your computer to hacker control and other malware. So, don’t do it!
The rules to avoid being tricked by email like this are simple:
• Don’t click on links or download attachments in email from people you don’t know.
• Don’t click on links or download attachments in email from people you DO know if it looks fishy (or phishy in this case). It’s best to verify with the person who sent it.
In this case, Microsoft performs all updates through Windows Update. It will never send you an attachment to download and install.
• Don’t click on links in Facebook that look out of character for the person posting them – or that promise something out of character for Facebook.
• Don’t click on links or download attachments in email from companies, even ones you do business with. Visit the company’s site manually or give them a call.
• Don’t visit shady websites. Especially don’t give them personal information or download files from them.