Emails purporting to be from various well-known airlines claim that you can view the travel itinerary for a supposed flight booking you made by opening an attached .zip file.
The emails are not from real airlines and the attachments do not contain a travel itinerary. Instead, the attachments contain a malicious file that, if opened, can download and install Locky ransomware.
Subject: Travel ItineraryDear [Name derived from email address removed]
Thank you for flying with us! We attached the Travel Itinerary for Your booking number #9EEA4B3.See the paid amount and flight information.
According to emails that are currently hitting inboxes around the world, you can view a travel itinerary for an airline booking you made by opening an attached .zip file. The emails, which are signed by supposed staff of various high profile airlines, include a booking number and advise that you can see the amount you paid and your flight information in the attached file.
However, the emails are not from the listed airlines and the attachments do not contain any sort of travel itinerary.
Opening the attached .zip file reveals another file hidden inside. Clicking this file can download and install Locky ransomware on Windows computers. Once installed, Locky can encrypt all of the files on your computer and then demand that you pay a fee to online criminals to get the decryption key.
Details, such as the name of the airline, the name of the supposed booking agent, and the bogus booking number, can vary in different incarnations of these emails.
The criminals responsible for this malware campaign bank on the fact that at least a few people will be panicked into opening the attached file in the mistaken belief that they have been charged for flight tickets that they never purchased.
If you receive one of these emails, do not open any attachments or click any links that it contains.
Last updated: October 4, 2016
First published: October 4, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen