Earlier this week we posted on twitter about being aware of malware disguised as safe and trustworthy software.
No more than two days later we received the email below:
From: Apple & iCloud Helpteam [mailto:email@example.com]
Subject: Apple ID Closure
iCloud ID – firstname.lastname@example.org
This is your final email to inform from 24 – June – 2015 that you have not updated your Apple ID information. Under “Know your Customer (KYC)” statute Apple is required by law to carry out a validation of your Apple ID, failure review your profile will end in deletion of your Apple ID within the next two working business days.
Please advance below to »
Verify your Apple/iCloud ID (URL)
To cancel the deletion of your Apple & iCloud please proceed to your iCloud ID profile page before the scheduled deletion time.
Resolution Support ID: #K9LA11131196134
This email bypassed spam filtering and looks genuine. By clicking on the original link (which we have removed) you would have been taken you to a website that also looked genuine. An inexperienced user could easily have been taken in and given the criminals their AppleID and password.
Therefore here are 10 handy hints to keep you safe:
1. The message contains a mismatched URL
If the email has a link as the one above, when you hover over it you should see the web address; this particular one showed http://applewebauth.net/myprofile. If this was a legitimate site you would have seen https://www.apple.com/uk
2. URLs contain a spelling mistake
Taken from Microsoft
“Cybercriminals also use web addresses that resemble the names of well-known companies but are slightly altered by adding, omitting, or transposing letters. For example, the address “www.microsoft.com” could appear instead as:
This is called “typo-squatting” or “cybersquatting.””
3. The message contains poor spelling and grammar
This is self-explanatory, criminals will not take that much effort to run spellchecker. Genuine senders usually spell correctly.
4. The message asks for personal information
Businesses will not ask you for your personal details, passwords or login information via email. If in doubt ring the company or send them a new email clarifying. Do not reply – create a new email with a known email address.
5. The offer seems too good to be true
If you receive an email saying “Congratulations you’ve won the lottery” or you are being offered money to help out the Prince of Nigeria please don’t be fooled. The saying “too good to be true” really is true.
6. You didn’t initiate the action
As above, if you receive an email congratulating you on winning the competition, however you didn’t enter the competition then treat in the same way.
7. You are asked to send money to cover expenses
It might not happen from the outset but eventually the scam emails will start to ask for money for taxes, fees etc. This is a definite give away that it is a scam
8. The message makes unrealistic threats
The message in the email comes across as threatening in an attempt to make you take action without thinking, it may claim to close your account or that your account has been compromised.
9. The message appears to be from a government agency
Government agencies generally do not send out emails, all correspondence comes in hard copy, therefore ignore the electronic versions.
10. Something just doesn’t look right
At the end of day common sense prevails, if it doesn’t look right it probably isn’t, trust your instinct.
If you would like any further information or advice regarding this article please do give one of the team a call on 0114 268 5 121.