I received an email during the past week which managed to make it through the email filtering system, which looked very suspiciously like a ransomware email.

This particular email had a supposed invoice attached as a zip file, which the text of the email stated was for US$492.24, supposedly for Gleneagles Equestrian Centre, which is in Southampton, England. It wasn't a particularly official looking email, and as I had no contact with the company, it was obviously fraudulent.

Clicking on the so-called invoice may have launched a dreaded virus; I'll never know. With these unsolicited emails, one is far safer just deleting them. I'm not paranoid; I just have a low level of trust (usually zero) in such emails.

According to the Stay Smart Online web site, there is a current campaign underway which sends an invoice purporting to be from eBay. You should be very wary of such emails. In this case the link provided will download ransomware to your computer.

The second method is a short simple email with the subject line “Voice Message from 017234512978 – name unavailable”. The email message says “Click to listen Voice Message”. The phone number changes for each email.

When you press 'click' to listen to the message, you will be directed to a web page designed to download ransomware onto your computer.

I recommend you register on the Stay Smart Online web site and follow them on Facebook. We need all the advice we can get to keep our heads above water!

Stay safe, Terry Griffin

Principal Technologist: Security

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